Two weeks’ worth of lessons again – apologies.
I had spent quite a bit of time preparing some short scripts of duologues between an asylum seeker and an official of some kind, based on what I had been able to gather about such interactions from the stories they told. The idea was to include some reference to their own situation, and its practical consequences (much as I had tried before with the Hokey Cokey As You Like It.) It led to a lively discussion, for in many ways I had not quite got it right, of course. I was prepared for this – it would have been remarkable if I had got the tone and content right first time – but did lead to Frishta suggesting that it might be better to link the stories to one person’s experience, and that she was happy to write some scenes. Which is where we left it.
This had taken some time, so we only had an hour left for rehearsals, running over two of the physical ideas we had explored before. Did also have to accommodate a new member of the group: Dasha (I think that’s how her name is spelt) for Belarus. Excellent English, and an infectious laugh, though I would now have to find a way to integrate her into the group.
In the interim between the classes, and somewhat to my surprise, Frishta sent me some scripts. Quite an achievement, to write in what is not your first language, and if they were a little naïve, a little televisual, that is only surprising. But there was also some nuggets of excellent stuff. I was a little nervous, when the next lesson came around, that she might react to my comments, but in fact she was great.
Another problem today, however, was the arrival of yet another new person (called Champs(?)), from Saudi Arabia. He was very effeminate, but of greater importance was the apparent dislike of him expressed by Ali, who soon after walked out – he can be temperamental, but I sort of hoped that the antagonism was personal rather than something more insidious.
We were able to divide into two halves, one group tackling the Tick Tock sketch, without scripts, while the others worked on the Godot adaptation. At the end of the class, as there was some time, we tackled the improvisation game of Freeze! This was most encouraging, for they were very good, catching on fast, and producing some instant scenes that were hilarious. Always good to end the class on a high.