Monday, August 23, 2010

Claire's blog - Summer school and beyond

Regular Young Co. member Claire Dyer blogged for us about the recent summer school week and her own exciting news:

Summing up this Young Co Summer School week without giving away too much about our upcoming new play will be barely possible - but I'll try.

This week we were joined by the lovely Darren who on day one (after the first in a series of strenuous warm-ups) had us moving as the elements - air, water, fire, earth. I was intrigued by the power of air, in that it is inescapably needed. Creating our representations of the elements to music was fascinating. On Tuesday we bumped it up a notch and, with animal characteristics and traits, conducted a frantic search for a certain Tall Tales character who you'll meet in October. The image of Scott leading this procession of personified animals as the elegant, strong stag will bring a smile to my face for a long time yet. Scott and Rehanna's movement instructor Jayne also joined us on Wednesday and taught us how to move fluently and intricately, shifting and sharing weight. This was picked up again by Darren on Friday morning before a game of "Eastenders" which went above and beyond the realms of good old fashioned Whoosh!

(Photo of Claire from the Rosey Project)

Meanwhile, Scott "the music man" worked with us on creating a lovely piece of Scottish music - rather nostalgic of The Singing Kettle or any of the Scots/Gaelic children's programmes we used to watch as kids. We read through the play, ironed out any issues with the text - particularly its authentic Scots dialect - and worked scenes of it on its feet. It was also good to have Mairi with us on Wednesday and Friday afternoon.

It brings me great sadness to admit that this will be my last blog for some time, but from juggling unravelling pairs of socks in a circle to miming horror scenes of childbirth, this week has been the greatest send-off ever. The movement skills and techniques that Darren and Jayne have taught us been a brilliant head start for the sort of work I'll be doing in Manchester - not to mention adding a whole new layer of creative expression to the production - and it's amazing to see all the new faces of the Young Co, which I'm sure will continue to grow and thrive forever!

Right til the last minute, Neil and Louise were giving me excellent advice, and I can safely affirm that if it wasn't for the Citizens Theatre and all the wonderful people I've met and worked with, and the unique opportunities I've had, I wouldn't be going to do this job. It starts in less than two weeks, and from now until next July I will be touring the UK with a company called Rhema who focus mostly on children's theatre and are based in Manchester.

Tall Tales For Small People will be one of the Young Co's greatest and most memorable challenges yet and I know without a doubt they'll pull it off - and then some. I regret not being able to be part of it in many ways, but I am also excited to come and see it, having been involved in the early stages of its development this week - and I hope you all will be too.

Thank you all from the depths of my heart.
Be back before you know it.

C x

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