Bring me laughter

posted in: Teaching in Lesvos | 1

As I have not mentioned it for some weeks, I may have left the impression that the Comedy workshops at Mosaik have ground to a halt.  Far from it: the lesson has run each Friday afternoon, even though there were occasions when it did not seem likely.  Afghan time is much like Greek time in its lack of punctuality, but people drifted in, and each week I ended up with at least a dozen, most of them being regulars, including a couple from Gekko.

Today I had even more than average, fifteen or so, including four or five kids who wandered in and out, taking part as and when they felt like it.  As there were quite a few new faces, I felt entitled to recycle some old material, mostly involving some mime.  We started with a ball, and they all got a lot of fun throwing the one invisible ball around among ourselves, especially when it grew larger and larger with every throw.

Miming a door, and showing the room beyond, was the next stage, and that in turn led on to the physical theatre notion of people acting as things: doors again at first, but then a shower, a TV, and then a group acting out a person using various things in a room (with my usual twist of the things coming alive to intimidate their owner.)  There was plenty of laughter, even though we never got close to my initial idea of working towards a performance.

We finished the session with a little bit of gentle satire, all based around mobile phones, but with the twist (© A Marsden-Smedley, Stowe School A-level Drama class, 2016) of using real apples instead of phones (geddit?)  We had people comparing types of apple-phone, social occasions where everyone was staring at their apple, people colliding because they were checking their apple and not looking where they were going.  For comparison, we even had an old-fashioned landline, ie a banana.

I am pretty sure they have gained something from the class, beyond having a good laugh (though that is an end in itself.)  We even had quite a discussion (in Farsi, so the finer points escaped me) about how drama is all about building confidence, no matter what the situation.  Though I am not so naïve as to ignore the fact that the offer of a pair of bus tickets for each participant also played its part.

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