As ever, two weeks conflated into one, entirely because I forget to take a photo at the end of the class! Apologies – I will do better!
Three missing today – Aisha, Frishta and Dasha – but we were still able to make some progress on our new play, “No Waiting”, focusing on the scenes that we could do, chiefly “Godot”. We were a little nervous that SAli would be disturbed by the words in the extract we are performing, but he does seem to have overcome this, and he could shine in the role, especialloy since it is basically clowning. On this basis, and to introduce an element of fun into the class, I presented them with their own sets of juggling balls, and some basic instructions in how to perform the 3-ball juggle.
The following week, we had an almost complete set of people, with only Abdulaziz missing, and I was also looking forward to passing on some exciting news, that we are to perform in a real theatre, alongside a performance from the Compass group, in April. It does mean some pressure, but I am confident that they will rise to the occasion. However, on the very same day, we received the pretty devastating information that Nada and Sama, the two sisters from Saudi Arabia, had received a letter that they were to be moved… this Friday. To Plymouth. For them, it is actually excellent news, for they will be sharing proper accommodation in their own flat, and will be able to begin re-building their lives. But I can’t help also feeling downcast at losing two of our best, most fluent, most expressive actors. (And the fact that Sama was pretty much the only one to start mastering how to juggle merely an extra sprinkle of salt on the wound.)
But we rehearsed anyway, and there were some very encouraging signs. It was the first opportunity to see the more personal asylum seeker/official scenes, and they were excellent.
And “Zhvar”. We were looking for a name, something a little catchier than the Wembley Drama class, and have settled on Zhvar, which is (I hope and believe) a Farsi word for a meeting place. And a happy one (something like rendezvous, perhaps) so it seems like an appropriate choice.