A level drama students recently participated in a physical theatre workshop run by the ground-breaking theatre company Gecko. Chenxi, VII, found it an enriching experience:
We began with a quick preparation to start loosening up and bring warmth to our bodies, cultivating an energy and concentration that would focus our devising process in a fresh and dynamic way. Once we were ready, our theatre practitioner Ryan asked us to explore the emotion of frustration physically. Gecko places a huge emphasis on the idea of ‘serious playing’, a way to explore ideas and emotions freely and instinctually, allowing the truth of the emotion to affect every part of our bodies. We then started playing with breath and muttering, synergising the breath with our movements in order to create dynamics and variation within the short sequences that emerged from our explorations. After this, we moved onto devising spatially with the help of bamboo sticks, working in pairs to try and sync up our breath and move in unison. This workshop, starting from the rawness of emotion and breath and then building outwards, was a completely new way of devising for us and taught us a valuable new skill.