Sunday, June 25, 2006

And then they made us do 'improv'

And then they made us do 'improv'

It's 11:30 on Saturday morning, rehearsal room two at the WYP is proving the generally agreed notion that no where in this (relatively modern) theatre is of the correct temperature and we're deep into warm up games. Yes, warm up GAMES. Those little words that send writers running for the hill, because - hey - we're not actors. Writers work in solitary places, sheds, garretts, places that require being alone, not places that involve connecting random body parts to those of people who - at best - you've known over the course of Mark Cately's workshops.

I'm standing with my right foot slightly raised. S's head is on said foot. I'm feeling the need to laugh. S looks up at me.

"Normally I have to pay for this type of thing"

That's it, the giggles start.

My head's now in N's stomach. We both clock what this looks like at the same moment.

"Maybe we should have done this the other way round"

More walking, I end up with someone I don't know. And, holy crap, he kind of looks like Alan Rickman. Alan Rickman circa a few years ago but Alan Rickman nontheless. There is no hope for me as I have the palm of (almost) Alan Rickman in my face. I start wondering if this is actually a dream.

Eventually - when we've all had the opportunity to touch various bits of members of the group - we're allowed back to our seats. And the more writerly games start. And I find these much more interesting and telling. Now we've got to each come up with five facts about ourselves that give our partner a glimpse at us. Hmmm. How do you condense yourself in such a manner?

And what I find ineresting, as each person reveals their partner's facts to the audience, is that what the people choose to reveal is as telling as the facts themselves. Some people deal in achievements, some in their families, some are more abstract. Some share their life stories, others reveal very little. And you get splashes of character that I find much more interesting than having (almost)Alan Rickman's hand in my face.

For my part, I settle on the following facts:

1. I have an obsession with Byron (and the Romantic poets in general), not only for their poetry but for the scope of their ideas and the way they chose to live.
2. I went to Oxford University but have never rowed.
3. I love live music and have seen one particular singer over 60 times.
4. I cry at tv, film and theatre very easily - particular lowpoints being Neighbours and The Muppet Christmas Carol.
5. I'm a blogger.

And in chosing them I was explicitly aware I was presenting myself to a group of people and shaded them accordingly. Didn't want anything too serious. Couldn't help but mention the Oxford thing, just because if I had to put in all that work to get there I might as well get some enjoyment out of people's reactions to this fact.And whilst these facts are not the sum total of me (and, erm, some of them got laughs which is what I might have wanted. And a little gasp at the stalker thing. Which I might secretly have liked) they are facets of me. Certainly they're stuff that regular readers here will know.

After lunch it was properly writing time. And some how I came out of the afternoon with a half finished ten minute piece that spanned a century and oriented around a Rhino Skull. Which is something I certainly didn't have at 11.00 that morning.

1 comment:

val said...

He looked a bit like Alan, and you still didn't want to do improv?? I love theatre games!