Last week was half term for most of the schools in Chester and I took this opportunity to try and break the back of the work for Before a Fall – the new title for the play based on the Icarus and Theseus Myths that I am directing with Quartz. Quartz are Theatre in the Quarter’s young people’s company, aged between 12 – 20 they are a very talented bunch!

We separated the week into calls, meaning not everyone was there all the time, and in fact some were not there at all – these talented young people are always very much in demand from other commitments!

But we were lucky enough to have some of the young people in for a band call and we had clarinets, flutes, guitars, a violin, trumpets, a saxophone, an accordion and I’m sure I’ve missed some! They are all very accomplished musicians – able to pick up music very quickly and create a nicely balanced band dynamic in a very short space of time. Joe Mann, the Musical Director was both very impressed by their musicianship and delighted about the sound world that we will be able to create thanks to this group of musicians, and not everyone could attend so there is more to come!

I also started looking at some of the scenes in more detail and I was very impressed with the maturity and skill these young actors brought into the room. I worked with them in a similar way I work with professionals and they adopted techniques and a style of working that was often brand new to them. They grasped the ideas of given circumstances and how these affect the drama, I touched on some Laban work, we unit-ed bits of the script as well as developing an ensemble dynamic. All this while multi-rolling, working in the round (well, square) and due to the nature of the calls, not moving through the piece from the beginning logically following the narrative.

Joe and I are constantly impressed by these young people and their wonderful attitude, what this means is that we are able to keep pushing them and introducing new ideas and ways of performing to them. And it means I can direct these young people as actors, not members of a ‘youth drama club’.

Published by Beigs

Theatre director, Northerner and Manchester City fan

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