I am far more relaxed about taking the class now, mainly because a) my expectations are lower – the idea of forging a theatre “company” is far too ambitious for the current circumstances. And b) I am less concerned with planning, as it is impossible to know how many will turn up. And since Hamed, one of my reliable attenders, had already messaged that he was unable to come today, expectations were correspondingly lowered.
Jaime from El Salvador arrived first, his first time after quite a few weeks, and this gave us the opportunity for a chat. He had recently taken possession of a bike, via some sort of scheme, though I was amazed that he felt confident on London’s roads; he did not seem to think this was a problem. Aisha arrived after a short while… and that was it.
I had thought of working through a couple of improvisations based on status – an old idea – using the idea of masters and servants (or master and servant in this case), which switches around because of some circumstance. And obviously, since there were just the two of them, we tried this twice, with them switching roles. And they were excellent. Jaime has real dramatic flair, adding in terrific touches of character, in both roles; we just have to work on his habit of breaking out of role and back into himself whenever he thinks the scene is done. A proper finish is the aim.
But Aisha too has come on remarkably. This was probably the first time we attempted something approaching characterisation, taking on aspects of the character which were not their own, and it was a real positive step to see this progress. But of course, with just two actors, I soon ran out of ideas. We did attempt a further improvisation, with me involved as well, which allowed the idea of three separate status levels, but it was not so good. Drama without any sort of audience is a different animal entirely.