Something of a surprise today, when I arrived to find the room we use being used for prayer, first by one of the security guards, then another. Still, they did not take long – I was not sure how I could ask them to leave, so that was a relief.
Aisha and Azi were there before the others, so we chatted for a bit about how things were going. Aisha had attended some sort of Higher Education fair, and though most places were not able to help, she did find three that offered scholarships to asylum seekers (or asylum getters, I suppose) and one, Hull, had sent her two emails, about which she was very excited. I also explained the concept of “fingers crossed”, as a sort of secular Inshallah
When the others arrived we had a reasonable attendance, with just Abdulaziz and Kerira missing – that is Oliver and Phebe in terms of the play. It looks like we will have to give up on Kerira, which is a pity, since she seemed to enjoy the one session she attended (though she had also promised to come last week, when I had to cancel the session because of my own illness.) It does mean we are short of a couple of characters still, but that is more or less normal, and my regulars do have one or two ideas.
Played the “use an object as something else” game today, using a frying pan I had brought in for the purpose. I had tried the same idea – and the same frying pan – months ago, with a different group of people, and they had all used it for cooking, but my current group really get (and like) the idea, so we had all sorts of imaginative solutions.
And then on to the play. We focused on the second half, which has more of the As You Like It storyline, and is dominated by the characters we had available: Rosalind, Celia, Orlando, the Duke, and William (who did have to act with Hamed playing Phebe.) I was very pleased with them, for it was clear that they understood very well the storyline. And there were no cultural difficulties with physicality, Azi was fine with holding hands with her lover and hugging her father. Not that we couldn’t have dealt with that issue if we had to, but there was no need.
One slight disappointment was that Ali was upset at the end; he struggles with English, and can become frustrated, but he is a wonderful natural actor, and we really need him.