For our autumn commission our theme was fairy tales and for our final commission we did a street performance in the Bury St Edmunds Christmas fair and then we did the performance at the primary school.
For the “Magic Paintbrush” we had started working with that sooner than the “Sly Innkeeper” because we wanted to do the story with as little words as possible so it was mainly physical theatre. We started with writing the main points in the story and how we could make them come to life with movement.
After we did this we sorted out the movement as it is the most important bit of the performance then we added the words to the movement. The rehearsals went smoothly and we managed to keep up with the deadlines that we needed to stick to so we could get everything done. While we had lost some people due to a separate show that was going on the people left behind were in charge of making props for the “Magic Paintbrush” and the “Sly Innkeeper”. I was making the sail for the boat out of cardboard and what I think could of gone better was if I had thought in advance how big I wanted the sails to be so I had made the mistake of making the sails fold at the top which meant I had to stratify where I put the bars so they hold the sail together.
The boat (Made by Karolis Vaitkevicuis) was made well it could fit the emperor and his spies I was also good that the boat could rip in half without breaking the boat so it gave a really good visual look on stage and also it was easy to transport because it can be moved from place to place in two pieces, however what could of made the boat better was if the sides with Velcro on for when the boat tears in half should of been secured to prevent any rips or tears in the side, luckily we had managed to identify the problem and fix it immediately.
For the performance in the street we were put outside of Gregs bakery on the day of the performance so we would be in peoples walk to the market so if they wanted they could stop and watch. What could of gone better during the performance was something beyond our control which was another performance happening at the same time while we were acting so we ad difficulty raising our voices over the other performance because he had speakers and his instruments were quite loud, what also could of gone better was if we were a bit more organised where we put all of our props because after each show we would be in a panic about what went where or where anything was so we would either delay other people or be delayed ourselves. What went well however was that in the street performance we had a good audience at the beginning, the college students responded well to our performance and helped the plot move along what also went well was that the weather didn’t act up we had clear sky’s and it wasn’t too windy however it was very cold but we were constantly moving so it didn’t effect us much. While I was a worker in the field I had labeled myself as a young girl who was helping her parents earn some money so I was cheerful and full of energy so when I got up I wouldn’t have to get up slowly and I could sit cross legged because of my age.
For the “Sly Innkeeper” we started that a little later than the “Magic Paintbrush” because we had a script already so we didn’t need to worry about having to come up with lines our man concern during rehearsals were how the audience were going to stand and where. This story was the story with the most words in it because we wanted a contrast between the dancers story that had no words, the “Magic Paintbrush” which had very few words and this performance which had to have words in it for the audience to understand what was going on because the story line was more complicated than the last story. Again for rehearsal we had managed to hit deadlines on time, it was different from practicing the “Magic Paintbrush” because during rehearsal instead of having to take notes of my movements on a separate piece of paper (because we had no script) I managed to make all my notes on the script it’s self.
What went well when we were rehearsing was that everyone learnt their lines quickly however due to the time of year we unfortunately had some people ill which would mean someone would have to step in but this meant that certain people learnt other peoples lines which was good because on the day of the performance one of the main characters was ill so another student had to fill in for her.
This is a clip from one of our rehearsals without the props. Again while some of the class were rehearsing for another show we got onto working on the props for the show. The masks (made by Jessica Bellamy) took the longest to make and they were important that the audience could tell what they were supposed to be.
What went well while making the props was that we all knew that they had to be big because it had to be over exaggerated because it was a children’s story, for example when I made the phone prop I made it big and red with black outlines so it looked like a phone from a story book.
What went well while performing the “Sly Innkeeper” was that those who had to do costume change wear quick and effective and that when we performed the “Sly Innkeeper” we had created a system of where everything was so we were much more organised than the “Magic Paintbrush”. What could of gone better was if we hadn’t accidentally missed a scene in the “Sly Innkeeper” which kind of threw us when it happened we didn’t know what to do because we had always practiced the performance in a particular, so we carried on the scene as normal and no one noticed that we had missed a scene when we asked for feedback which meant the situation was dealt with effectively, luckily it didn’t effect anything else so everything ran like normal after that scene. While I was playing the goat I had to make sure that I spoke slowly, loudly and clearly because of the mask on my face was blocking my face I also had to express my emotions through my body majorly because my face was hidden, while I was playing the country India I had to be softly spoken but also loud enough for the audience to hear because the Indian language has many soft words that can’t be said too sharply so I had to think about how I sounded.
To conclude I think the piece went really well and we had a positive response from the audience in the street even though we had no contract with them they still took part in the show by booing and cheering when they were needed. To improve I think we need to be more organised when using the props on our performance and we also need to be quicker thinkers if anyone accidentally misses a scene or a major line in the real thing.