Chuckles and chocolate: drama workshop – 5 December 2018

It was a miserable, drab evening but that didn’t prevent a healthy turnout for the Drama Workshop. Being a new member, I wasn’t at all sure what to expect – and then being ‘invited’ to write the blog?

It felt more like I was being cajoled, prodded and generally bullied, although that was far from the case. Picture rabbit and headlights and you’ll catch my drift.

Rhona Anderson and Yvonne Jack (or the terrible twins, as they are in my mind now) provided us all with some very entertaining ideas on how to write a wee sketch. First, they gave us their own potted history, which included the revelation that Yvonne first wrote and performed her own pantomime some thirty years ago, before she was even born. Oh yes she did!

They have had successes both singly and together and, tonight, they were going to share with us their secrets to producing an entertaining sketch.

This was greeted with no small amount of equal parts trepidation and enthusiasm. But first, to get us into the spirit, we were reminded of famous popular sketches, used in different ways and for different reasons. First, the evergreen humour of the Two Ronnies and their sketch, set in a library, with the interesting method of categorising books first by colour and then by size to show us how confusion can be a powerful tool in creating humour. Then, Del Boy, in the pub, demonstrating the art of being suave and sophisticated to Trigger and the superb comic timing of the fall through the opened flap at the end of the bar: an ingenious trick of using the unexpected event to provoke hilarity. Finally, the delightful Isla, a gorgeous three-year-old, asking Daddy lots of awkward questions on News at 3 in an attempt to understand the meaning of Easter, concluding that the Easter Bunny possibly lays chocolate eggs!

It was then somewhat daunting to learn we were to write and perform our own short sketches. The ladies gave us each time to make three lists, under the headings of Occupation, Emotion and Location. I thought it strange how such a simple request might lead to brain-freeze on my part, but it did! We were then told to pick one item from each list to possibly inspire ideas for a sketch. Fortunately, we weren’t asked to think of it alone, we were split into groups of three so that we could collaborate. The results were – um – interesting, to say the least.

We had a lawyer being embarrassed by a parrot in a pet shop. This was joined by two rug salesmen having a ‘pile’ war rather than a turf war in a pool hall with lots of hilarious plays on words, such as a ‘Rug Habit’. We had an ice cream man getting confused in the Gobi desert by the local tribesmen, a Catholic priest with an Italian in a fish and chip shop causing confusion and amusement. Then there was the trainee priest and his confrontation with a burly rugby player over a towel in a communal shower. I felt this last one was possibly slightly mis-cast, with the priest being bigger than the rugby player but it added to my amusement and, I guess, that’s what it’s all about. I mustn’t forget the chiropodist getting very confused with the taxidermist!

I felt we could go on with it – and we did, through our tea break. We were all caught up in the enthusiasm of the challenge. All in all, it was a very entertaining evening though it left me rather perturbed about what, precisely, runs through the minds of some of these people with whom I am spending my Wednesday evenings….

Suzie Turner

One comment

  1. Nice one Suzy!

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