Monday, 24 March 2014

Sky or the Birds Workshop

On Wednesday the 12th of March all of our students were offered a free workshop led by Dan Horrigan (for FREE!).

Dan Horrigan is a writer who works with ‘Sky or the Bird’ theatre company, they recently visited Bathway to preview their new show ‘Still I see my baby’.

In this workshop we explored many ideas used in the production of a new piece of theatre, such as; “What is the premise?”, “What is important?”, “What are the characters' objectives?”.
These questions challenged us to think in a more in depth way bout how the play could be staged.

Using different ideas on the same scene was something that I really enjoyed doing; Dan gave us a scene from his play and asked us work on it in our own way, this allowed him to see fresh takes on his text, and allowed us to see how many different ways you can interpret the same section of text. When we then watched the play the next day we were able to see the way that the director interpreted the same scene with the help of the actors.

The last exercise that we did was creating a story; we were split into pairs and had to decide a premise, character objectives and finally create a coherent story involving our ideas. We then showed the rest of the group what we had created and gave them a chance to guess the premise of our story, which mostly turned out to be correct! I really enjoyed this workshop; I learnt new things that will be very useful in the future. 

Written by Ogo Lakov,
Edited by Georgina Shipp.

Home Vs. Halls

For those moving away from their home town, living in student halls is a necessity, but is it better or worse than living at home, or do both have their equal amounts of pros and cons? Being a student that moved three hundred plus miles away from home, I couldn’t exactly commute in everyday, so I picked the cheapest room in the cheapest halls near to my university; I say the term ‘cheapest’ loosely, for accommodation at uni uses the biggest chunk of my maintenance fee. If I lived at home I certainly wouldn’t miss that amount going out of my bank account every term!  

However, living away from your parents and family does have its benefits. The first thing to discuss is your sense of independence, even though you now have to wash up after yourself, do your own laundry and remember to tidy your room (or not), you feel better about doing it because otherwise it wouldn’t get done! Additionally, with this independence comes the freedom to choose your own meals (depending on whether you can cook them or not), being able to stay on the internet for however long you want and taking really long showers because your water bill is included in your halls fee! 

Some things about moving into halls, however, can either be really great or really bad. For instance, unless you have a studio room and are paying a fortune, you will more than likely have flatmates. Often this can be great, it keeps your mind off home sickness and missing your old friends and you also have people to talk to on an evening. Your flatmates are also an immediate friendship group for your fresher’s week so you don’t feel so alone because you’re all in the same boat. However, they can drive you nuts! There will always be the argument about who used the last of the milk, the one person who never washes up and the person who uses all the tea bags and never replaces them. 

Even if you don’t get on with your flatmates, and trust me, not everybody does, there are always people around halls to keep you company. There are always parties to go to within walking distance of your own bed (probably in your own kitchen) but this means you do have to put up with booming music at three am every Friday and Saturday night, constant karaoke, random ukulele playing and improvised drumming with the bins outside your bedroom window. 

Despite there being great things to living in halls there are also things you miss from home, like rarely seeing your family because you can’t afford a train ticket home and missing home comforts like live television because you don’t fancy paying the £145.50 TV license a year. Of course I bet the most missed thing is your own bed, there is no comparison to it and I don’t believe anybody that says their hall’s bed is ‘actually pretty comfy’! 

Written by Illy Bell

Radio Theatre

For the past term, the wonderful Eve Dalton, technician at Soho Theatre and member of ‘The Invisible Theatre Company’ has been workshopping with the first years, including myself, in the art of creating radio plays. Our aim in the end is to create a live radio performance of George Orwell’s ‘War of the Worlds’, creating the sound effects and voices ourselves in front of a live audience. 

Our first week was an introduction to what radio plays are all about. We learnt how to get into radio play and voice over work and the fun you can get up to being a foley artist. We also listened to samples of ‘The Invisible Theatre Company’s work, which was fantastic. Everyone was kept guessing on how all the sound effects were made; you’d be surprised how much a sack of potatoes dropped from a height, sounds like the result of a non-functioning parachute!

In the next session we had great fun being foley artists, creating sounds for a short radio play; this involved scattering granola on wood for the sound of soil on a coffin, opening lunch boxes for the sound of opening clasps and general (maybe not so realistic) impressions of bees!
In our third week we got onto voice acting, which everybody loved! Here, Eve was joined by her colleagues and friends Beth Eyre, Sean Bye and Richard Welbirg. We were coached on how to perfect our RP, American and Russian accents, putting them into practise with genuine radio adverts. 

Finally, we got onto the nitty gritty stuff: auditions for ‘War of the Worlds’, with some very amusing accents and casting was confirmed. Then came the first read through, here lines were cut and chopped to perfect the script and the decisions on how to create the sound effects were confirmed. We are now preparing ourselves for the live show but we’ve had so much fun in the process that the end result will be the icing on the cake! 

Written by Illy Bell