LVIth Drama students visited the National Theatre Studio this week to take part in a workshop introducing them to Commedia dell’arte. Commedia dell’arte came out of Venice in the 1600s and was a popular form of street theatre based on improvised scenarios between stock characters based on universal types of masters, servants and lovers. The students will be studying this discipline at A2 and it was a useful experience to try out some mask work and physical comedy practically guided by the very able associate from the National. The students got involved in improvising physical comedy sketches both alone and in groups, and learnt some traditional slapstick stage fighting. It was an excellent workshop and the students approached every task with energy and enthusiasm.
A very successful afternoon was rounded off by a visit to the Arcola Theatre to see Crouch, Touch, Pause Engage by Robin Soans, a Docudrama piece by renowned theatre company Out of Joint. This was the story of two Welsh names bruised, but not beaten, by media speculation: Gareth Thomas, 100 caps for Wales, now the world’s most prominent gay sportsman and his hometown, Bridgend, itself a victim of intrusion following the deaths of several young residents. A piece that will provide very useful inspiration for their own practical work in this style next academic year.