Drama Workshops explore improvisation

We are now into week 3 of the 11 weeks of drama workshops at Good Neighbours. As well as those who have been to previous workshops we also welcomed several new people to the group.

The first week we started working on improvisation (‘improv’). One exercise had us writing 100 words/phrases which gave a flavour of our lives and memories – “A life told in 100 words”. The resulting pieces were interpreted in very different ways and came up wit all sorts of memories and themes:

  1. Bangers and mash; children’s games; black power; old house; church
  2. Travelling; Goa; operations; music and dancing; bright clothes; walking
  3. Running a business; morning papers; catching up; garden centres
  4. City at Wembley; car lifts; football; trains; mobile; money lost
  5. Macclesfiled; Congleton; organist; Urmston; Town Hall; Southern cemetery; RAF; Ferranti
  6. Music night; Buxton; piano concert
  7. Castles on the beach; chopped liver and bagels; science fiction and scary stories; active retirement; EFL; cocoa
  8. travelling; holidays’ get together; outdoor & seaside; enjoying old age
  9. First day of snow; friends; early spring; travelling; reading
  10. group of runners in Chorlton: coffee & cake; winning a medal
  11. going round to grandma’s; chip pan; talking about the war
  12. Dublin; 4 brothers and sisters; ran away when 16; bus driver in the 60’s; print textiles; self employed decorator
  13. Running, fruit, windmill, warm mils, bombsite, warm milk, guitar, bicycles, love, red, demos, death, climate, jazz, solidarity, computers
  14. family, dogs, nursing, social care, half Polish, knitting, card games
  15. walking sticks, fish & chip shop, bluebottles on the fish counter, morris minor, air rifle, fireworks, toddlers, Old Trafford, lavender fields, cats, licorice sticks and flying saucers

We then discussed possible themes for improvisations and came up with various ideas _ conversations in cafes and pubs; food; dancing; music games

The following week (13th Feb) the workshop was led by Peter. we split into two groups and each worked on an improv based on a group of friends meeting for a drink in a pub,then someone comes in with some bad news eg he’s lost his winning lottery ticket; she’s lost her wedding ring; she is very depressed. We then performed our outcome in front of the other group who offered their comments on how it worked or what might be changed

This week (Feb 21st) Nakib was back to lead the group and we continued with improv in two groups. One group based their’s round a classroom with a group of noisy, cheeky pupils, a teacher and an angry parent. The other group based their’s round a day trip to Llandudno by a group of old friends. Whilst walking along the Prom they come across a man using a road drill and take a look at what he is doing. Turns out he has turned over a human hand. The friends are shocked by this and tell him to get the police but then decide to scarper as they don’t want to get involved and spoil their fun day out

It turns out that the group has a past tragedy that is linked to when they had come on a school trip to the same place and Bill, one of their friends went missing and was never found. At a cafe they discussed whether the dead body could be Bill…..

The final discussion looked at whether we could link the two stories and thought that one group could act out the story of the original school trip and the disappearance of Bill; the second group could be based round the reunion day out and the discovery of a body…..Watch this space!