Apologies for my lack of recent activity on t6his blog. In truth, it has all been rather low-key, with just the core of Hamed, Aisha and Tulsi turning up regularly – just as well, since it was these three whose stories formed the play – with occasional appearances by Abdulaziz and Ali. Fereshte has been busy trying to sort out a new school form her son, who has been going through a pretty torrid time, and I discovered today that she has now enrolled on a college course herself, which will mean she is unable to attend our classes (or, indeed, the performance.) A pity from our point of view, for although she is neither an experienced or confident performer as yet, she is intelligent, and would have fitted in well to the Narrator’s role. But I have to remind myself at times that the most important thing is the fact that they are making progress in putting their lives back again, and not the play. Our numbers are low at present, but the fact that Dasha and Frishta, for example, are both starting college courses is absolutely what ought to be happening.
On the other hand, we do feel there is a need to re-energise the class, and to attract new members; quite a lot of people have arrived at the hotel, and so we ought to be reaching out to them… or at least putting up some new posters.
Nor did it help that I had to be away for a week (about which more in a separate blog.) But even this had its positive aspect, as Matilda, out long-term support, has found someone to take my place. Or if not exactly that, since she is not Drama trained, then to give the class some official supervision. Her name is Shamym, and I have to say I know almost nothing about her, having only communicated by email and WhatsApp. But my impression is that she is very nice, and managed to deal with the constrained circumstances of the group at present, while also enjoyi9ng herself. And she has promised to come along again next week, which will give me the chance to meet her, as well as providing a most welcome extra body (and voice.)
As for the play itself, it is still in the process of being created, with me adding a few pages each time, as well as taking onboard necessary changes to bring it closer to the truth. But I am pleased with the way it is developing. It does mean that our performance at the Migrants’ Festival in a week or two will necessarily be more a reading than anything else, but actually, to some extent, that takes some of the pressure off – having a script in their hands to keep everyone on track will make it easier, while still, I believe, telling an interesting story in an interesting enough way to maintain people’s interest. At least, I hope so.
There are certainly some effective scenes, such as Aisha’s confrontation with a soldier, or Hamed’s childhood story – in both cases, important in what they revealed about the two of them.