Three weeks ago I joined a local Drama Group and I am hoping that perseverance will pay off and I will eventually understand what we are supposed to be doing. So far there have been moments of embarrassment (week 1), worse embarrassment (week 2) and some laughs (week 3) but hopefully I am over the worst and things will get better. I have a reasonable command of French and can burble away using my tried and tested phrases but I get a bit lost when the conversation takes an unexpected twist or turn. So these sessions are quite a challenge.
We start by walking around the room using all the space - we speed up, change direction...I have discovered that I would make a good sheep. Once we had to make as much noise as we could - this was quite liberating, in fact sometimes it is a bit like group therapy. Often I don't understand the instructions and the change of activity is very subtle and I can't work out what they are doing differently so I keep plodding on around the room - this can go on for 10 -15 minutes but presumably this is the groundwork that will eventually bear fruit! Then comes the really difficult stuff - improvisation. This would be hard enough in English but in French .....it is practically impossible. I am determined however, to fulfil my childhood ambition and make it up there onto the stage!
The most fun has been the Vampire game. We started off walking around the room, then we had to close our eyes and continue moving without bumping into each other. Someone was chosen to be the vampire and it was their job to catch others and make them vampires. I'm sure we were only supposed to make blood-curdling vampire noises when we caught some-one but somehow we seemed to screeching and wailing all the time. Combined with the shrieks of the victims the noise in the hall was unearthly. With my eyes closed I quite forgot that I was, by day, a genteel landlady - I had entered a demonic realm. Sightless and wailing I careered off down the hall and had to be retrieved by the drama teacher. At great risk to himself I must add, as I yelled 'Je suis une vampire' in full, jugular-searching mode! The shock of opening my eyes at the end of the game was quite amazing...'What had I been doing?'
A date has been fixed in mid May for the staging of a 'spectacle' so we are currently looking at scripts but nothing has yet been chosen. The stage is in a huge hall so I was wondering how many people would be expected to come along to watch this key cultural event. 'Well,' I was told by one of the group,'last year, on one night, we had 60 people. Then the next night....16!!' I think an audience of 16 is more likely to be more intimidated by us than we need feel by them so maybe it won't be too daunting an experience!
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