This week in the lesson we had a talk from Harvey Edgington, the National Trust's Film Unit manager and Ham House's film conservator Milla. I found the talk really interesting, not realising that Harvey was in charge of ALL NT properties in the UK, not just Ham. His job is extremely hard work but I'm sure really worthwhile. The amount of enquiries that they receive every month for work is huge, so no doubt he is always busy.
Harvey mentioned an opportunity to possibly come in an help with the preparation for their next filming project which would be a fantastic opportunity to see first hand what they do. Looking forward to seeing how this develops. :)
On Friday night i took a trip to London town to see Fanshen Theatre Company's 'defiant new drama', Shooting Rats. There is so much to talk about so I'll break it down:
The venue was part of The Oval House's Elsewhere project, using non theatre spaces around the city. The assembly hall of the Lillian Bayliss Old School Site was amazing! It is a huge octagonal hall with the audience looking down onto the stage from a raised platform that goes all the way around. As the space is so high, the acoustics weren't brilliant, but the actors really worked hard and i heard every word. This space has so many possibilities for all kinds of work. I saw it as a great space for physical theatre and movement work as there is so much to play with and it's also a unique and interesting environment for the audience to walk into.
Evie and Ads are going on a date... to a rubbish dump! As the night continues and they begin to get to know each other, they discover more and more about their own lives and the disguises they put on to hide their real problems. The play was originally written by Peter Turrini and Willard Manus in 1967, and it was described as 'a desperate attempt at self cleansing'. This production was adapted by Rachel Briscoe.
The actors were fantastic, really capturing the emotions of their characters and clearly portraying their struggles to fit in and find themselves in an increasingly materialistic world. Themes that are universal and extremely relevant in today's society where young people are struggling to find work and become independent from their parents.
The performances were really powerful and i found myself forgetting that i was watching a performance, really believing in the characters and their stories.
Our Own Little Piece Of Shit Paradise
Following the performance of Shooting Rats, their was a work in progress piece formed in response to Shooting Rats. Directed by Steff O'Driscoll and performed by 5 young actors including Monsay Whitney both graduates of St Mary's, the work was a series of short devised performances depicting each characters lives and the way they interlinked with each other, infused with current songs and images from popular TV programmes.
I really enjoyed the performances and i felt that it was a great example of how inspiring other plays can be when looking at creating new work. It was also really great to see the work of previous students as it gave me an insight into what people are doing after graduating.