Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The End........?

i would just like to say that since the end of this project, i am sooooo confused..
afterall it feels so much better to know that you have time to do other things you may need to do, but oh my god.... thanks to this project i've made serious new friends (you know who you are ;) hehe, and not only 3rd years, i feel i made some good friends from the 1st and 2nd years) but i also feel i got to know people to a new level, bringing us closer and teaching us how to work together better. i mean, how strange was it that we have been on the same course for 3 years and.... nothing!!!
i feel that no only has this project taught us to work together for the performance and for the audience, but has taught us a few lessons as well.
in my case especially it has taught me to have patience and to perservere!!! (oh my god was that caterpillar difficult and frustrating at times!!) but at the end the sense of accomplishment was amazing.. god only knows how dan must have felt!!!! and the sphinx looked amazing!!! and with a bit of patience and team work we helped amir achieve what he envisioned!! it felt great.
i feel that it is also heartbreaking seeing the show come to an end like that, i mean all those months of hard work, late nights, early mornings, all in the back of a van within an hour. no more golden travellers!!! :(
i felt that myself and the group benefitted from this project as we all improved on our skills and developed the opportunity to grow together and get to know each others strengths and weaknesses!
the patience that was needed at rehearsals was immense, after all they were long days and alot of sitting around. but that time was used lot by actors as bonding time.
i feel a mixture of emotions towards the end of the show. im happy as it means i know have time to do what i need to do for my other courses and dont have to pull no more all nighters, but at the same time i feel sort of lost and it feels strange not to see everyones face, hearing the same voices and laughs!!!
i guess all good really do have to come to an end, and we are just going to have to enjoy the time we shared and the memories we have acquired....
goodbye travellers!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

9th May: Building Weekend

This saturday we went in at the whole cast helping the design team to put together, the Sphinx, Kenneth the Sad Caterpillar and the remaining costumes and props. The design team were in charge of the whole day so we followed their instruction to try and make the day as productive as possible, which was successful and meant the building weekend into a day, which gave us the day for extra rehearsal.

For this day I help Amir make the Sphinx, which turned out looking Amazing! The building of it was down to Amir, we helped with the paper mache and painting, which saying so myself I think we done a good job on it, and looks authentic.

SU Night: Welcome to Egypt

Egyptian night was after all the stress and problems success in which we raised over £500, thanks to all the different areas we had such as the most obvious being the entry fee monitored by Kathleen, Emma C, Emma H, we then had shisha which was looked after by Amir and Simona, the henna was done by Sonu and Anita which turned out to be one of the most popular events of the evening with the Shisha, as well as palm reading by Carolina. The entertainment was looked after by myself, which included of belly dancing, St Mary's dance group, fire dancing and Live music. We also had Dan, Matt and Hardeep keeping an eye on the back door making sure that everyone that came in had a stamp, as every penny counted to us, upon making the evening as successful as possible and making the project possible. I feel that the majority of the group worked hard in making this night possible.

To make the evening possible we held regular meeting to which most of the fundraising group contributed and made it possible, and communication was a key factor as we had to stay in regular contact with some of the acts, to make sure that they were still available to perform and happy to, as they were volunteering to perform as we could not afford to pay for them.

I personally felt that the Egyptian night was a popular and enjoyable event, as not only was I told by some of the guests, but being a Wednesday I honestly felt that the majority of the crowd would have left by half ten, if not earlier, and would have gone to McCluskys, but instead most were there until twelve thirty, and some were there until after one!!

One topic which was a difficulty was whether or not to have security, however, in the end there was no need as there were no and the night went pretty smoothly.

One thing about the evening that I felt strongly about was the lack of effort some people made in dressing up which would have improved the presentation of the night and with the seriousness of the event, and the fact that the theme was the idea of those who didn’t put in the effort. I found that through discussion myself and Simona took a lot of pride in making the effort for the theme as we were part of the team that were putting the night together.

The props and material was helpful in making the SU as authentic as plausibly possible, and the Egyptian posters provided by Suzannah which were bought over from Egypt, as well as little statuettes and little prizes we gave to random students.

The process of getting the SU ready for the evening was a lot quicker than I expected as we had other members of the group in to help us, and coincidentally took me and Simona longer to get ready than we expected.

Overall the evening turned out to be more successful than previously anticipated, and I feel that it was enjoyed by all, and being congratulated on putting on enjoyable evening by students I had never previously met.

26th April Promotion day at ham house

Promotion day at Ham was a productive and fun day out as we successfully spread the word about our project and performance. Together we put on an activity filled day in which we did face painting, poi dancing, as well as a Diablo, all to help us advertise our play in the hope that we get an audience, and spark interest within the piece. The majority of the drama games were conducted by Emma C and Rosie. Poi was taught with Dan and Amir, the Diablo by Matt and face painting by Carolina and Emma H. However, the rest of us had a go with everything, though I concentrated on face painting as a majority as I did face painting the past in a previous job (who knew that would come in handy again!) and in the games.
During the face painting I came across great and wonderful young people at the same time telling them about our show.

We received a few donations from some of the parents as we were not charging, but we explained why we were doing this and why we needed contributions towards, and though we didn’t make as much as if we had charged, I really enjoyed the day at Ham House it was a good experience.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

2nd April auditions, casting and rehearsals

2nd April auditions, casting and rehearsals

During the auditions we were made to work together as a group and individually, from which we chose a monologue from a list that we were given and acted it out.

After watching the auditions in my mind, I already had an idea of who was going to be cast as the main characters, but even when the list came out I was a little surprised by some of the choices, but not all, as they have seen the majority of the group perform at some point in the past, and knew most of the groups abilities. Then again, I had no idea of the characters and what the Directors wanted from each character.

I myself was cast as a tree trickster, but having missed the meeting where they were talking the group through the script, characters and storyline, I had no idea of what to expect or what my character did. I think that in the long run, this was best as I had no expectations and no desires, whereas, a few others that I spoke to had issues with the character they were given as they had preferences.

At first, when I was given my character during the rehearsal process I was quite excited, as though we don’t have a speaking part, I found my character really playful, and as a Trio, Amir, myself and Zoe, work quite well and we developed personalities. Which worked really well.

However, as we got into the story our characters started changing and we became less and less playful, and more hidden and I felt that our character was being kept in the play as our parts had already been cast, and that we had lost all significance in the storyline, and found that we spent alot of time in rehearsal s standing around, which meant that by the time we were rehearsing we felt disheartened and fed up, and that may have reflected on stage.

But now as we get closer to the performance date, the story line has changed and the tree tricksters have once again been given an opportunity to be playful, given us an opportunity to come up with choreographed pieces and enjoy the character.

The rehearsals themselves I felt could have been more structured than they were, as there are only a few characters that were needed throughout the play, and the rest of the cast were left standing around. There were also a few times when cast member s felt they were being shunned and/or being made to wait around, and then not rehearsing their scene. This is at no fault of the directors, as they have to practice a scene until they feel its right to move on, and it is not always possible to follow a plan of action, however, instead of calling full company rehearsals everyday, perhaps, concentrated on specific scenes on specific days.

i think that this would have helped people feel less likely like they had lost a day.

mission statement

Let me first introduce ourselves. We are called the ‘Golden Travellers’. We are a small drama group who have formed in our third year of university. In this final year we have come together to develop and eventually perform a major community performance. Our focus is to work with the schools within the Hounslow area. For the next few months we will be working with 7 different schools, with ages varying from 6-11. We will be devising several workshops with the children from which our story for our performance will develop from. The aim of this project is to bring together different communities especially the children. We are searching for a way in which we can bring people together in a fun and effective way. We have got four separate sections within the ‘Golden travellers’.

The four groups are Schools Liaisons, Fundraising Team, Creative Team and the Design team. The schools liaison team will be communicating with the different schools that we are working with to find out how they are finding the workshops and what best suits what the schools are teaching the children at the moment. We have decided that this would be the best thing to base our project on as the children are already studying this subject. It also provides a great and magical base for us to start developing our piece from. The Creative team will be designing the big project from writing the story, characters, and directing the piece for maximum enjoyment, and effectiveness of learning. The Design Team will build all the set to making all the props that we need and have chosen the site in which we are going to work in and will be dealing with Chiswick house throughout the project. Lastly we have the fundraising team which will be raising the funds that we need to actually make this project happen. Any donation would be a great help to us as we feel these productions are very important for young people.

Our initial idea was to do with fantasy and dreams, however, since visiting schools and doing workshops with them, we have decided to go ahead with the idea of Egyptian mystery and magic. We have chosen to work with the younger age group as we believe that this would be a more gratifying and enjoyable experience for us, and would help introduce drama to children early on in the hope that it would help build their confidence and help with communication skills.

We will also be giving the students an opportunity to be physically involved and active within the piece as we will be giving them a chance to evolve storylines and come up with ideas for characters and costume, where they will be given a chance to make costumes for eachother, as well as mask workshops, where we hope to let their creativity show.

Our workshops consist of 4 or 5 of our team going out to schools, where we each have a group of 5-6 pupils. We have chosen to do it like this to give the quieter children an opportunity to talk and to get involved as it feels more one to one, and also gives us a chance to get to know the students better, we hope that by the end this will give the quieter students more confidence and will help students bond, and teach them team work.

Our intention from this is to teach, but make it fun and exciting. Since we do not have a lot of time as the project will be taking place on Thursday the 21st May. I hope that you can respond to this email as soon as possible.
In sending this out I hope that we can raise as much money as possible, as we are hoping to make this project as colourful and enjoyable throughout workshops, as well as in the final performance, however, any donations we can receive, which will help us raise money, would be great.

In the mean time may I sincerely thank you for any assistance you may give, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Please feel free to contact me about further information.

Fundraising Team

Monday, 11 May 2009

10th April

Richmond Theatre gave the drama in the community team some free tickets for Noel Coward's Brief Encounter. as soon as I walked into the theatre, and the curtains raised, i felt like i was in the 1930s and believed the whole experience. This is the first production I have seen by Knee High and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Brief on John Kani

Bonsile John Kani (1943 -) is a South African actor, director and playwright.

He was born in New Brighton, South Africa.

Kani joined The Serpent Players (a group of actors whose first performance was in the former snake pit of the zoo, hence the name) in Port Elizabeth in 1965 and helped to create many plays that went unpublished but were performed to a resounding reception.

These were followed by the more famous Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island, co-written with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona, in the early 1970s. He also received an Olivier nomination for his role in My Children My Africa!

Kani's work has been widely performed around the world, including New York, where he and Winston Ntshona won a Tony Award in 1975 for Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island. These two plays were presented in repertory at the Edison Theatre for a total of 52 performances.

Nothing but the Truth (2002) was his debut as sole playwright and was first performed in the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. This play takes place in post-apartheid South Africa and does not concern the conflicts between whites and blacks, but the rift between blacks who stayed in South Africa to fight apartheid, and those who left only to return when the hated regime folded. It won the 2003 Fleur du Cap Awards for best actor and best new South African play. In the same year he was also awarded a special Obie award for his extraordinary contribution to theatre in the USA.

Kani is executive trustee of the Market Theatre Foundation, founder and director of the Market Theatre Laboratory and chairman of the National Arts Council of SA.

Kani's son, Atandwa, is also an actor and made his first debt in U.S. television on the now canceled CW series Life Is Wild.

Kani has also received the Avanti Hall of Fame Award from the South African film, television and advertising industries, an M-Net Plum award and a Clio award in New York. Other awards include the Hiroshima Foundation for Peace & Culture Award for the year 2000. He was voted 51st in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004. In 2006he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Cape Town.

24th March Richmond Theatre

Matthew Hahn gave the first public read through of his new play The Robben Island Bible at Richmond Theatre, to which he gave drama's students the chance to to listen to 3 amazing actors read through his script as well as a Q&A session after the reading, which was thoroughly entertaining, thought provoking and educational.

it was fantastic listening to Jon Kani read, and the relationship between him and his son was dynamic, to which you could see and feel from the stage. His presence on stage was powerful, that you found yourself believing and feeling everything he said. i could have stayed there listening to him for hours!! he was so inspirational and his stories were absolutely brilliant!

The play was a verbatim play and one which takes the Shakespeare quotes from which the Robben Island prisoners had highlighted and dated, as quotes that have personal meanings, to which no quote was marked twice!! He also did one on one interviews with survivors, touching on personal stories.

I found myself complately engaged and enjoyed this as an experience which I feel cannot be repeated and feel honoured to have been there.

24th Feb Chiswick House

We went to Chiswick House to see what we had to work with in preparation for the schools' show in May. We got a tour given to us from a member of staff, Not only for health and safety purposes (building was still in progress) but also so that any questions we may have had could have been answered there and then. I have to say i cannot believe i have never been there before. as far as staging goes, the place is amazing!! and should be great to create an magical atmosphere of mystery and fun.

there were plenty of areas in the park that would make an amazing set to play with. there were buildings in the park that even appeared to be grecian/egyptian, which can be placed within our play, as we are going for mystical and magical with egytaian myths and legends as our initial stimulus.
Also not forgetting the tree. which generated much excitement amongst our group! watch this space....

19th Feb. Mask Workshop.

Today we had our mask workshop and though it was extremely fun and of course new talents were learnt (that rolling newspaper into a stick machine, which coincidently was totally awesome!) was left a little disappointed, as even though we demonstrated good team work and work well to make an absolutely massive paper masche mask (boy did i forget how messy that is!) i felt that it would have been great to make loads of little ones and all let our imaginations go on uor own to see what varieties we could have come up with as a group! would have been amazing to see what all the invididuals would have come up with!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


First of all i have to apologise as i havent been updating my blog
i guess I'm pretty useless at this.
now on to the important topic....Fundraising.... OH MY GOD!! I never thought it would be as difficult as it has turned out to be!!
Its not an area i have ever been involved in before and I believe this will probably be the last time too!
At first I was really excited about being a part of the fundraising team. I have never really been the type to shy away from a new challenge and I weren't going to let this on be the first... And to this day I dont want to hide from it! but wow its turned out to be a challenge and a half.
I don't know if its just me not being persuasive enough or being the credit crunch (obviously hoping for the latter) but it has been virtually impossible for the team to get companies to part with their money! Its turning out to be a bit of a nightmare in all honesty. I guess I underestimated just how challenging it would be. More fool me really!!
On the up side, It has taught me how to better my telephone manner, and has given me a speech which has been embedded in my brain!
Here's hoping though that as we continue to ring out, someone will be willing to splash out!