A small group today, though it was good to see Abdulaziz there, from the very beginning for once, with no college commitments. Frishta was, as she had explained, absent, so we had just the five, the ones who had been to Oxford, with just one replacement. This did mean we were able to discuss the production to some extent; this is not a Theatre Studies class, so the analysis was fairly basic. (Though I was intrigued that they had a serious criticism of the Juliet they saw, whom they identified as switching off when not actually speaking, a particular point I had made to them recently.
We also had a bit of a discussion as to where we should take to group from now on. It had always proved something of a challenge to get the group moving again after a production, with numbers tending to drop rather than grow, meaning it takes something of both an effort and an act of faith to kick things off again.
As a warm-up, I took them through most of the warm-up games and exercises that the R + J cast use, most of which they seemed to enjoy. And then, with me thinking on my feet, we tried out some improvisational ideas: one was of using various words for walking, then having each character illustrating one of them. Another idea was to draw on childhood memories, which first each person shared with the group, and then were turned into an improvisation by having the main character switching between narrating the story and performing within it.
It was a short session, necessitated by me having to be back in Oxford in time for the show tonight. But now that I have a clearer idea of the people involved, I can start to put together ideas for a show which fits both the people and their capabilities. We have been given notice of a Migrants’ festival in September, so that might provide us with the opportunity and incentive that we need.