Last week had been, more or less, a disaster, when for the first time ever not enough people turned up to enable any practical Drama. As it happened, I was not as upset as I might have been; to some extent we are marking time until the performance, wo provided we generate a bit of momentum from here on in, it should be all right.
But I was pleased when Yasser was the first to come through the door. He had missed last week, ha messaged me later to say that he was feeling down, but I offered what encouragement I could. And then Alem turned up as well – he had joined immediately after the Beck performance, but seemed to have become a little disillusioned by the lack of commitment shown by the rest of the group since then. So, again, especially pleasing (one stray sheep, and all that.)
And then, amid the general arrivals, a newcomer: a young lady from Mexico, called Carla. She was bubbly, cheerful, with excellent English, and had done a little Drama before, she told us. It showed. After a warm-up (which I can manage when I am feeling positive) we tried some spontaneous improvisation, in the form of my old friend “Crossing the Circle”. The whole exercise was a great success, but Carla was remarkable, immediately creating a vibrant character. And she seems keen to be involved in the show, despite the lack of time – a real bonus.
We then went through our usual practice of working our way through the show. Actually, there were some important absences. Thomas was missing again, which is concerning; apart from any other consideration, he is a superb performer. But Dasha was also absent, first texting to say she would be late, and then that she was held up in some sort of important bureaucracy, so would not be able to come at all. Ali never appeared at all today, and Abdulaziz appeared briefly, then told me he had to go. So we missed out on various scenes. But Frishta was there, for the first time in ages, so we were able to hear her song.
Even so, it was a good session. The improv had really engaged everyone, with some excellent ideas, much appreciated by the audience (aka the rest of the group.) And we did have the chance to take everyone, including the relative newcomers, through the group scenes. So provided we can get a bigger group next week, we have a good chance of making it work, and putting on a good performance.