Doing the school run…

July 19th, 20114:03 pm @

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by Dumbshow-er and Educator, Sam Brassington.

Tickets for Oedipus: a Love Story are on sale now.

So our first two public performances of Oedipus: a Love Story have been shared with two lovely school audiences in Warwick and Bristol.

The trouble is, following my performance of the sphinx, I may have ruined my career as a teacher… but we’ll come to that later!

FRIDAY 1st JULY AYLESFORD, WARWICK

We recruited Tom Marston’s Pedigree, a keen lover of biscuits of any description and a Year 13 leaver from Mr Gethin Jones’ Drama All-stars, as he likes to call them. Tom rehearsed with us and did a great job of teching the show in Warwick and Bristol. We all arrived in Warwick in good time so we did a dress rehearsal and: it was the worst performance we have ever done, which didn’t exactly fill us with confidence! But following a great warm-up consisting of Chinese Whispers with four people and the counting to 10 game (the four of us always succeed in getting there first time for some reason) we hid behind the exam desks at the back of the hall to get ourselves ready and allow us to be unnoticed as the audience entered.

By this point, Geth was crapping himself and he kept getting under the desks to see what fate might await him in front of his students! Of their own free-will around 50 students gave up their Friday evening to support and they seemed to really enjoy the piece.

We received lots of positive feedback afterwards too! Following on from Aylesford we made a number of changes to the piece in rehearsal that weekend, including replacing Teiresias with a fourth Oracle scene (RIP Teiresias & Creon/Crayon) so we were looking forward to performing it again in Bristol the following Tuesday.

TUESDAY 5th JULY WELLSWAY, BRISTOL

The gang made the journey from Leamington to my school in Bristol in great time – Soraya was super relaxed and was out like a log as she journeyed, apparently she dribbled down her chin and onto Marston’s shoulder, poor boy. It was a bit like Mission Impossible – we had to manoeuvre ourselves around the school to avoid disturbing a concert that was in progress to 200 people in the main hall, which was right next to the drama studio, our target.

To cut a long story short, we couldn’t get in without Oliver Turner climbing in through a window head first and taking a risk in nose-diving to the floor! This may have looked all the more dodgy to the public passing by on the main road as we were all dressed in our blacks! Anyway, he opened up the fire exit and we were awaaaaaaya!

We did two performances – one for Year 10 students, followed by one for Year 12 and KS3, showing to around 90 students in total. We definitely relaxed into the second run much more, until….during the Sphinx scene (where I wear some heels and use some outrageous innuendo) I noticed the clicking of cameras – the little kiddie winkles were taking pictures and videos, bless ‘em! I panicked that night about just what they’d do – would they go to the NotW…but I think I’m in the clear! It’ll all be forgotten by September!

All three performances were rewarding and we have learnt lots about the show and we have some firm ideas of where we want this to go as we enter our final week of rehearsal, which is really exciting. It’s really pleasing that our initial objective, as people who do a bit of education stuff (to create a piece of theatre that we wanted to be of value to younger people) had been achieved – the feedback was really positive and we hope to get plenty more young people in to watch and enjoy in Edinburgh.

Can’t wait to get this going now, and who knows thereafter, hopefully a little tour including some more schools (we’ve had interest from several places). But next time, cameras will be banned!!