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Sherborne School, Qatar
On the 12th-14th March 2015, Drama enthusiasts from St. Christopher’s School, Dukhan School and Doha College spent the weekend at Sherborne Qatar to enjoy the BSME Drama Festival.
The pupils met on the afternoon of Thursday 12th and embarked upon warm up exercises, which allowed them to share their Drama skills and start to work with pupils from other schools. Paul and Hannah led the workshop, resulting in short and high-energy performances that oddly all seemed to gravitate towards the theme of chicken and KFC!
Staff and students were then treated to the wonderful performance of ‘The Pearl’, by visiting theatre company Dumbshow. These talented actors kept us mesmerized through their engaging and haunting plot, their use of multi-role-playing and their imaginative use of simple props. This inspirational performance concluded an exciting day and set the tone for the work to come.
Friday was a full on theatre extravaganza! Students were divided up into 6 superhero groups (Spiderman, Captain America, Superman, The Hulk, Batman & Iron Man). Each group had a 40-minute workshop with one of the actors and then rotated so that everyone experienced the skills and expertise of the visiting performers. These workshops established the foundation for the performances to come. Workshops included Mask work, Improvisation, Character development, Physical Storytelling, Physical theatre and a Voice workshop. The actors commented on the focus and attention of the pupils, who brought energy and commitment to these exciting activities.
The final hours were spent in four performance groups, led by the actors, preparing for the rehearsals the following day. Each group was given a Grimm’s Fairy Tale to devise from: Little Red Cap, Rapunzel and Hansel & Gretel. Actors, Staff and Students all left Sherborne that night exhausted but elated by the intensity of the day.
Saturday saw the culmination of all the work so far. Each group rehearsed for 4 hours to create a short performance that demonstrated choral speaking, imaginative physicality and characterization developed over the last few days. The performances were highly entertaining and imaginative. They reflected the high standards of the visiting actors and the quality of teamwork generated during the weekend.
Staff and students left the festival having formed new friendships, developed new skills and been reminded of the joy that collaborative Drama brings. Well done to all those who took part … we’ll never look at a chicken nugget in the same way again!