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Bloxham School Theatre Workshops

Drama workshops at Bloxham SchoolThis May, Bloxham School hosted its 'Theatre Workshop' – a series of weekly sessions, headed by Actor-In-Residence Luke Rollason.

The "Theatre Workshop" was open to all students with an active interest in theatre, and was set up with the purpose of exploring alternative theatrical practices, which are not covered in the GCSE and A Level syllabus.

The Theatre Workshop Company was formed of a varied group, comprising Sixth Form and GCSE students, as well as some of those Third Form students who were involved in Blackout – Bloxham's entry to the National Theatre Connections Festival. These students interacted and collaborated as a professional company, experimenting with methods of theatre such as puppetry, clowning and physical theatre. The sessions helped students to find an organic and playful method of working to produce inventive new material. Workshops included "Bringing Puppets To Life", "The Ensemble and Emergent Creativity" and "Creating Cartoon Movement."

These sessions had an informal and collaborative atmosphere, leading to the creation of short pieces of theatre through games and exercises drawn from Luke's work with theatre company Complicite. Highlights included a race between cardboard puppets, a waltz between a student and a puppet made out of old clothes, and a 'Monster Workplace' where cartoon characters attempted to coexist in a chaotic office.

Feedback from students on what they learned from the sessions:

"That there is an enormous amount of detail that needs to be shown in order to make a puppet seem lifelike"
"New ways into creating theatre, and of evolving new kinds of characters"
"How status can completely change the meaning and impact of a scene and how it can be used for comic effect"

The members of Blabbermouth Theatre, the company of Bloxham students performing at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, were selected from these sessions, whic became an informal research and development period in preparation for the group's upcoming production of The Invisible Man. The students in the company for Edinburgh are:

Jamie F, Ben K, Harris M, Rex M, Laura M, Laban L, Georgina P, Wilf S and India W.

Find out how to book to watch the students' production, either at Edinburgh or in the Bloxham preview here

View an album of rehearsal shots here.