Drama Workshop – 14th November, 2012

Another excellent drama workshop from Helena Sheridan on Wednesday night, full of humour (haven’t laughed so much in ages!), insight and inspiration.
I was shamefaced at not having done my homework, but luckily many had, so the evening started with sketches and monologues from Fiona A, Kirsty, Catherine, Wilma, Nigel and Greta. We eavesdropped while a daughter had “something to tell” her mum, went to a black and white party where somebody turned up in (gasp!) red, were stuck in a lift with a middle-class woman, a young mum and a drunk, and visited a conference dinner where everything was not quite…errr…morally correct. And we visited the toilet on a train and found ourselves the victim of a door that didn’t quite lock properly… Some excellent stuff, admirably acted by some willing volunteers.
And then, we all found ourselves centre-stage, as we took part in a “murder” activity acting out the who, the where and the how. Did you know that James Bond copped it when he choked on his spaghetti in an old folks’ home? Or that Cleopatra was on a bouncy castle when she was attacked by a gorilla? A great bit of fun, and it certainly got us all up and strutting our stuff, even if we didn’t think we had it (stuff, that is!).
After hearing Helena’s comedy sketch A Fair Cop, the workshop concluded with some pithy advice to drama writers:

•    Listen to the stories people tell you, no matter how ridiculous. Note them down – they will come in handy.
•    Build strong, distinct characters – they are the lifeblood of good drama.
•    Use simple settings.
•    Have a strong theme. What is the essence of the play?
•    In the one-act play, set up a single situation, explore it and conclude it.
•    Memorable visual images will increase the impact of your play.
•    Realistic dialogue is essential
•    Consider who will be acting out your play. If it’s a local church amateur dramatic society, it may not be appropriate to include too much “gritty” language!
•    Have a strong ending. The audience needs to know the play has ended and be satisfied that the action has concluded.

Finally, for those who fancy having a bash, remember the SAW drama competition is for a stage sketch of around 10 pages, due in on Friday 18th January.

Alison Craig

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