Not the most satisfactory of sessions. Hamed was there when I arrived, and a few others dribbled in, one by one. Alem had texted to say he couldn’t come today – I hope we haven’t lost him already – while Dasha had a doctor’s appointment, so could only make the last twenty minutes or so. And still no sign of Ali. And pretty much the whole of the first hour was taken up by a general chat/complaint about the situation they are in. Most of it was taken up with the intricacies of bureaucracy: what was allowed and what wasn’t; various funds, schemes etc to which they might or might not have access, the future. Hamed no longer has the right to a hotel room, but for the time being is lodging with a retired couple who have offered accommodation under the Refugees at home scheme, but that is only temporary; Frishta has a part-time job (rather worryingly working at a funfair) as she needs money for art equipment – she is determined to mount an exhibition of her work; but it is clear that she is deteriorating, becoming worn down by the system (or lack of one.) Aisha is poorly. As I know nothing of these matters (apart from Aisha’s cold) I could offer only sympathy.
Eventually, we roused ourselves to do some work. A bit tricky, as there were only 4 of them, but I took them through the game/exercise of “Yes”, which was, as intended, challenging at first, but which they soon got the hang of and enjoyed. Abdulaziz arrived at this point – he has college, so always arrives late – and we moved on to a naturalistic exercise: discovering, and reacting to, receiving a letter, trying to make the reaction real and believable.
We now had just about enough people to block the “missing” scene from No Waiting, with one person (Thomas) trying to decide (and always making the wrong decision) between 2 queues. And I think it works well, though such ideas are always a little shaky at first. This scene involves each actor (apart from Thomas) play several characters, so we finished the session with a quick look at creating characters, simply based on their movement.
After which I ran to catch my train. For the past two weeks my journey home has been a real challenge; one week I missed the train, and last week, though I was on time, the trains were cancelled, and I ended up on a slow bus from Ruislip to Wycombe. This time it was only a slight delay, with a suicidal trespasser on the line; luckily he was persuaded to abandon his attempt.
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