Sunday, 9 December 2007


You all worked hard throughout the term. So good luck on Monday.
The main thing is to enjoy it and to have a good time in the process. And always remember that what you have learned (and still learning) is the main objective.
I'll be looking forward to it.



Tuesday, 4 December 2007


1) Blog
This week we were able to have a rehearsal as a whole class and focus on blending our two performances together. At the start of the rehearsal we altered some of our stage positioning and will now have a designated props table on one side of the stage. My group then also decided that if we can we will tell completely new stories, to avoid making our improvisations look too contrived. This alteration improved our performances greatly and the mistakes that came from not knowing added comedy to the performance. As a class we have also decided that our costume will be one piece of red clothing, mixed with either jeans or the colour black.

Posted by Emma Bilton

2) Improbable Week 10
I thought our rehearsal and run through this week went really well! I'm feeling optimistic about our final performance, obviously some small things need work, but our basic structure is quite pleasing I think; I look forward to our rehearsal tomorrow where we can sort out some of our technical problems, and also a few of the other small issues with the piece.

Posted by Ella Rhodes

3) Blog
Monday's seminar/rehearsal was just amazing!! Everything seemed to fit. At last. Although there are still various things we have to think about, like how we want to incorporate music or lighting one can clearly see where it'll be going now.
And, once again, we experienced the magic about improvasition. I had so much pleasure in watching (from the back) Faith improvising on a completely new narrative of Chloe. It had humour, wit and excitement in it. I really do hope that we will be able to achieve something similar next Monday. Because after all, you cannot plan things like that. We also tried to repeat some scenes that had worked beforehand in a similar way. These attempts turned out to be rather unsuccessful and quite dissapointing at some points. People were trying to stick to a pattern which once worked and you could sense that the freshness was missing and they were waiting for 'something' to come up while acting which just didn't seem to happen.
However, we will be focusing on some basic things that still need to be worked on during this week and try not to overthink the actual improvisation narratives. I hope this will help us creating an enjoyable 20 minute show for the audience on Monday, December 10th.

Posted by Mirjam Frank

4) Blog week 10
I was really intrigued by this week's rehearsal as a whole class. Although it was difficult to keep concentration as a group at times, I felt that it actually went rather well. As I had missed the previous rehearsal, I was really interested to see how the pieces had been merged - as it turned out although they had been merged it became an apparently different piece with the whole group there and an interesting diversion for the other half of the group. Although I had not seen many of the other groups individual stories to start with, it was clear that they were becoming stale to the actors, if not to the audience. They were unhappy with this though, and it became so much more alive when Chloe came up with a completely surprising new story. It was incredibly cheerful thing to watch - a group becoming so much more involved and happy with a piece simply because of a small change. I am really looking forward to tomorrow and mroe surprises!

Posted by Emma Fielding

5) Blog
i really feel we made a lot of progress on monday, and there is a genuine sense of cohesion and ensemble within the group now, which i think is so helpful to the improvisation we do. putting in a surprise story, not only produced a wonderful scene but proved that we can make a good scene out of true improv, even though at times we are scared 2 go into performing something unknown.

Posted by Chloe Gosling

6) Blog
I really understand what Improbable mean when they say they are never fully prepared for a piece before they perform it. If it was i think it would take away from the excitement of it, some of the life and energy of the performance as a whole. We are prepared and our rehearsal time has been well spent, especially in the last two weeks, but the only elements we are not prepared on our basically our improvisations (which is a good thing funnily enough). And that is the only thing that scares me, how our performance could go spectacularly or it could just be ok. i don't believe anything bad will happen but i want the whole thing to go as best as it possibly can. We'll see i guess!

Posted by George Calderwood

7) Week 10 Blog
I feel that as a whole group we have definitely improved our piece over the last week. The extra rehearsals we have had have helped us to understand the exact blocking of our piece as well as focusing on certain scenes and extracts that needed work. Although, as a group we feel we have produced a good piece of work, we do not want to rehearse it too much as it would take away the creativeness and spontaneity of the piece. I am looking forward to performing it and feel that itshould go very well.

Posted by Charlotte Harvey

Comment: Having a performance with spontaneous elements doesn't mean that you shouldn't rehearse too much. Rehearsals are also intended to help you feel more comfortable and confident about your skills and tools, and to help you develop your connection between yourselves and between you and the work. Nesreen

8) Keeping it Improvised
I have really enjoyed our rehearsals this week and am looking forward to our performance on Monday. On Monday's lesson it was great to see the spontaneous ideals of Improbable being used in our piece, particularly through Chloe's idea to change her story at the last minute. I found the use of a new story refreshing and it allowed the others t improvise in a much cleared and easier way as they were not blocked by previous ideas. On Wednesday's rehearsal, George's idea to play some improv games to further boost the energy and spontaneity of the group was really effective and I think we all benefited from it. I guess it just goes to prove that the best ideas can come from play!

Posted by Fran Smith

I think that the rehearsals on Saturday were very interesting. Although the first run through was quite unenthusiastic it shows that when working in different spaces you can get quite intimidated. I do think that the idea of making the space ourselves was a good idea as it allowed us to take control of the situation. Overall I think the piece will go very well.

Posted by Louisa Hagan

10) Blog
I'm feeling quite optimistic about tomorrow. Of course with impro there's always a chance it'll fall flat on its face, but I think if we perform with as much energy as we did yesterday we'll be fine. I'm much happier now that we have our "entrance" to get us going.

Posted by Emma Berge

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

CTM Showings' Running Order - December 10


10 am Studio Theatre – Tara Arts
10.30 am Sutherland House to Boilerhouse – Shunt
11. 00 Boilerhouse – Bread and Puppet

Afternoon – all in Boilerhouse

2pm Forced Entertainment
2.30 Improbable
3.00 Trestle


1) Blog
Once again i feel that my group had a successful rehearsal. We continued begin our sessions with games such as 'bang' and 'what the duck?' in order to raise our energy levels. We then carried on improvising one another's stories, this time incorporating random objects into these improvisations where we felt it was necessary. Through doing this we were able to incorporate more people into the scenes and made the stories more visual. When group b then watched what we had so far, i was pleased to hear that they have gone in a similar direction, which will mean that hopefully the two pieces will gel nicely. They also gave us some helpful tips such as having the story teller walk around the improvisations as they take place, and also to explore ways of making smoother change overs. My group have booked the mirror room on Wednesday 2-4pm and we have now invited the other group to come along also!

Posted by Emma Bilton

2) Blog
It was exciting to see the other groups work yesterday and i was really impressed with what they had come up with. What was even better was the fact that we all seemed very keen as a whole ensemble to mesh the two pieces of work together. It was something i was sceptical about as i thought the pieces might be completely different but it feels as though the underlying issues of irrational fears and story telling are the same in both groups. I'm excited to see where we take this.

Posted by Fiona Allison

3) Blog
I really begin to enjoy the rehearsals for our final production now!! It was particularly useful that we showed each other (among the two groups) the outcomes of last week's working process. This was the first time where I could visualize, where all this might be going. Everything became so much clearer. I found that our permanent use of newspaper really works quite well and was astonished how the others who hadn't seen it before were able to understand our doings. Also the other way round: I experienced what Phelim means by using the notion of "gaps" within the plays. While they were doing their version of "Lifegame", I added my own pictures from my 'inner world' to those I saw on stage. It is really important to leave this specific allowance to dream to the audience. At least to me.

I also attached a picture of our work with newspaper ;-)

Posted by Mirjam Frank

4) Rehearsals So Far
I found Monday's class really interesting because we got to see where the other group are going with their piece in relation to ours. Despite some initial worries about not being able to mix the pieces well, there are obviously some ways that the two can be connected which is really good.
I am also finding that most of the things our group comes up with are simply through playing, rather than a clear structure to our rehearsal which is interesting and more improbable like than any other means of creation I think. It is relieving to realise that out group have a basic few scenes now and that we can work on these with the other group to create links and things with the help of outsiders to the piece - and that we can help them in any way as well. I am pleasantly surprised that we have managed to get something like this out of only a few weeks work, and I hope that we can make it into something even more improbable-like and interesting in the next two weeks.

Posted by Emma Fielding

5) Blog
in my blog for this week i would like to say i was extremely impressed by the other group's work, and am excited by the prospect of putting our pieces together, i think as a group we grow more like an ensemble everyday and that we are all very aware now of what is 'improbable like' and what is not!

Posted by Chloe Gosling

6) Improbable Blog
One of the most useful opportunities this week has been performing our work in progress to the other half of the class and also watching their work in progress. Both our group and their group seem to have been inspired by Improbable’s use of narration. I was impressed by how playful the other group’s performance was. I also thought that they used newspaper imaginatively. Despite the fact that they were playful the other group still portrayed fear appropriately. The newspaper baby being torn to shreds is a raw and quite unpleasant moment. I think our pieces will fit well together and hope our group can take some inspiration from the other group. I like the fact that our group use random objects within our performance but still feel that we can make more use of them. I think we also need to develop the human marionettes concept further. When not actively performing within the performance we remain in marionette poses but to the audience it is probably not clear why. This is something that we could explore when we experiment with the sections that link each story to one another.

Posted by Sylvie Barlow

7) Combining our Pieces
I was very pleased to see on Monday that our two group performances are quite similar and have great potential for combining. I really enjoyed watching the other group perform and found their idea to be very interesting. I particularly liked the spontaneity of the scenes. In our rehearsal on Wednesday we discussed ways in which we will be able to put together the two pieces into one performance and I am looking forward to exploring those ideas further in our next rehearsal.

Posted by Fran Smith

8) Blog
This week's rehearsals have been really insightful, working with the other group on Wednesday was really insightful. I've been really bogged down with flu lately but the energy in rehearsals was really invigorating, i especially enjoyed the games we began with. i feel as though the two groups have really come together now.

Posted by Gemma Moran

9) Blog and Review Thing
First the review that i had to do on how our process of devising at the moment relates to that of Satyagraha:
The whole process for Improbable seemed very unusual. For instance the story was already there and they just had to work with what they were given. In relation to us this way of working doesn't directly connect but there is a way in which it seems improbable are still not forcing anything to come which, i believe, is very true of our group. Progress in the beginning wasn't slow but it wasn't fast either as we weren't forcing ideas; we weren't making a piece for the sake of it so we could pass a course, we were honestly waiting for the right ideas to produce themselves. Although you could claim this is a lazy method of working, it really isn't, and to say it is, i think, is very closed minded.
All the members of improbable claimed that they really had to create a strong feeling of ensemble throughout the entire working process. Some of the interviews with Phelim and Julian made this very clear when they both said just that. Although Julian did say it was slightly weird not working with Phelim so closely as he is used to. Working as an ensemble is surely an obvious necessity for any dramatical/theatrical group but for work such as ours where we have to rely on each other massively for the work to be created, having a strong feeling of ensemble really is something we have created.
Finally, the way in which there are various different angles or visions being created at one time in the process of creating Satyagraha is intriguing. There are so many brilliant ideas being created by all the production team and it all seems to come together so well (or at least it seems so by the good reviews) and this can be said to be true of our work. Being split into two groups and now having to merge both teams ideas into one seemed slightly daunting but it was amazing how well this turned out and how simple it really was.

During this week i think a lot of our works initial ideas have become more emphasised and clarified. Characters have become more focused and most of us now really know what we have to do to make our performance a really good experience for us and the audience. Hopefully our last week of practicing and experimenting will ensure our piece will be the best it can as all our ideas are now essentially on the table, we just have to clarify them!
The way our two groups worked so well together is brilliant, it was a fairly simple experience mixing both pieces and i'm really glad there were no megalomaniac moments from anyone or such other problematic events! No one wants to take charge of the group which means our work remains our work and not a product of any one person's imagination or vision which is not what we are trying to create.
i hope that's all that's needed!

Posted by George Calderwood

10) Blog
Everything's coming together quite nicely now. The only thing that's worrying me at all is pace, but having a look at some of Improbable's work the pace is quite slow but you don't notice too much because of their intensity. Maybe this would help us.

Posted by Emma Berge

11) Blog for week 9
I was extremely pleased that my group progressed really well on Monday's lesson. We were able to come up with two new fears for our piece, death and nudity. We then focused on them for the remainder of the lesson, making sure they were polished and we were happy with what we had done. Furthermore, I was very impressed with what the other group had come up with, as I was able to see that both pieces were linked and would fit together. Also, yesterday's rehearsal went well in the Boilerhouse, considering it was our first run through of the whole piece put together. As a whole ensemble we worked well together making sure everybody had their say throughout the rehearsal. I enjoyed it and feel that the piece as a whole is coming together.

Posted by Charlotte Harvey

12) Coming Together
After our meeting with the other group on Wednesday I am looking forward to merging our 2 pieces together. However, at the same time I am pleased that originally we worked as 2 separate groups. By doing this we have given ourselves many ideas and concepts, influenced byImprobable, to create an innovative final performance as one unit. Although both groups have worked in different ways we have found many parallels in our ideas which will allow us to develop our piece as a larger ensemble. Our work with objects, puppets, spontaneity and the concept of 'fear' are excellent starting points. Also it is great that the other groups' playful work process has rubbed off on our group!

Posted by Faith Brandon-Blatch

13) Improbable Blog
This week our rehearsal went quite well. We decided on how to combine both of our pieces and the run through in the boiler house was structurally fine, although there is still a lot of work to be done. I watched Theatre of Blood and The Hanging Man. I found both pieces to be extremely interesting, I especially enjoyed The Hanging Man and its themes of death and the way in which Improbable dealt with this tricky subject. Theatre of Blood was extremely gory and entertaining! I loved the concept of theatre critics being killed one by one by a rubbish actor, it somehow acted as a parody of critics and actors alike which was very clever. I am becoming more and more fond of Improbable’s work and would love to have seen Satyagraha.

Posted by Ella Rhodes

14) Blog
in this week's rehearsal it was interesting to see how our small improvisations with newspaper could be turned into something bigger. pleased with our initial ideas, we followed their development and found that each separate section could be linked together to form one complete piece. After watching the other groups piece, it was interesting to see the differences but also the similarities between theirs and ours. Using the same sort of structure and sense of narrative, as well as having the same overall theme helped in our thoughts on how to integrate the two pieces.

Posted by Emily Cookson

Friday, 23 November 2007


- 30 November: Rehearsal at Boilerhouse (10 am-12 pm)

- 08 December: Run-through at Boilerhouse (12-2 pm)

- 10 December: Final showing at Boilerhouse (2.30 pm)

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


1) Final Performance
I am finding the preparation for our performance a very different experience to the previous sessions we have had on Improbable. Now that we have the knowledge and are simply applying it in smaller groups, and in ways that work particularly for us, I am finding that there is plenty of material being produced. I was slightly apprehensive that there would be some difficulties in creating 10 minutes worth of interesting performance, but now I see that if we keep working the way we are we will be fine! Our group has developed a very playful attitude to working - but this seems to work well for us. We found that we were most productive when we just played around with different ideas, and just let things emerge. I am looking forward to our other rehearsal time to see where this goes next.

Posted by Emma Fielding

2) Meeting and Blog
We met again before the lesson on Monday and were quite productive. We refined our circus idea more, discussed the possibilities of light and shadow, how we could use our objects, possibilities of costume, timing, opportunities to meet, effective use of the space, and came up with the following questions to ask in the lesson: 1. What were the lighting facilities we could use? 2. How much time did we have for set construct/destruct/practise in the space on the day?3. How close to 20 minutes do the group have to be (e.g. give or take a minute?) (We never asked the third question because I forgot. How flexible is the 20 minutes?)
Sadly, a lot of the ideas we came up with in the hour and a half can be used because of the lighting problems.

It's very difficult trying to come up with a devised piece when not in the space, as we found this week when told about the skylight. Also we found that games, whilst fun and amusing, can often just lead to procrastination rather than something productive. Our most productive moments came through a mixture of discussion, improvisation and refinement

Posted by Emma Berge

Comment: Games can never lead to procrastination of played with commitment and enjoyment. It's one of the most productive and energy-inducing ways to start a work process. Almost all of professional devising companies start their process with games, including Improbable, Complicite, among many others. If you have read any of the books I mentioned on Devising, or if you even read that photocopied section I handed to you last week, you would've realized this.
Actually, all of the reading material you've been reading this term, and all of the work and discussions we did since week 1 highlight this notion repeatedly!
So I am surprised at this conclusion: that games lead to procrastination!

Next time you rehearse, you MUST start with games.... be more focused and committed and you'll be surprised at how much you will produce. Nesreen

3) Blog
I felt our first lesson in our groups went well. Despite becoming aware of limitations that meant our original concept would be difficult; we managed to explore many other aspects to do with fear. We began by 'playing' and invented our own devising game using a circus style. We then continued to play around with the objects as well as writing up all of our groups fears, whether they were irrational or serious. This then gave us the idea to each tell a story of a time in our lives when we were most scared. From doing this we discovered that while we each told our story, the rest of the group found it easy to feel how that person felt in their story. This has now given us the idea to adopt a storytelling style and to possibly take one story, or aspects of a few stories and tell it to the audience, in hope of making them feel the same kind of fear that the person who experienced it had.

Posted by Emma Bilton

4) Blog (21/11/07)
We just had another meeting and it was quite productive. We still centred our ideas around a circus theme but decided, after telling our own fear stories on Monday, to bring in aspects of life game into our piece. So In a circus ring one member of the cast tells the story while the circus acts out the tale. So far so good.

Posted by Fiona Allison

5) Blog
This week's lesson and meeting, all and all was successful. The class began slow, we were stuck as all out previous ideas were thrown out the window due to the restrictions due to light in the boiler house. After a while of deliberating and brainstorming, we thought of the idea of momentarily blindfolding the audiences, creating darkness. However, as Nesreen interjected and reminded us that having that close contact with the audience is not very 'Improbable' we realised that blindfolding would be taking it too far, and Nesreen really helped us and prevented us from wandering off in the wrong direction. I think our group really came together when we began to voice out our personal fears to one another. It was amazing seeing everyone being so honest and at their purest most vulnerable state. Many others stories really touched me, and i found myself being scared for them!
-We decided that this feeling and honesty was something we wanted to use in our final performance as it seems very effective.

Posted by Ailee Kemeny

6) Blog
First 'proper' rehearsal on our final project!
I found it exciting and really good fun. As we have the idea of performing some sort of nightmares, we started off picking some scary moments out of the lot we've collected before. We then where trying to improvise on these ideas, using newspapers and various props. For the first hour or so we thought it might be good having a concrete starting point. However, after a while we found out that we were over-discussing things and not really getting anywhere. At least not in the Improbable way of devising and having it always kind of unfinished. Hence, we had a total 'flipping out' moment where all of us were just a wee bit over the top and not really productive... The surprising thing was that out of this pretty low moment we suddenly developed quite good concepts and created a first version of a) Emily giving birth to a bug and b) Louisa freaking out about facing an over sized bug. Astonishing, how things can emerge at points where you think everything is! I hope we can built on that when we meet again tomorrow.

Posted by Mirjam Frank

7) Blocking and Allowing Creativity
This week in our group rehearsal, the concept which struck me the most was Improbable's idea of devising through play and exploration. At first, our group began devising the first scan and found it difficult to have inspiration. However, we then decided to use Improbable's idea and spent ten minutes playing around with newspaper and our original idea of nightmare. From this we soon created two scenes which, although very rough, were effective and entertaining. This therefore proved that once we relax and remove the pressure of creativity, creativity is much easier to obtain. We have continued our rehearsals this manner and are very much enjoying them.

Posted by Fran Smith

8) Week 8 blog
I found Monday's lesson very productive as we were able to work well as an ensemble. At first it was difficult to get started as we were discussing the ideas too much, rather than focusing on the improvising and playing around with ideas. Therefore, after playing some games in order to warm-up and focus we decided to 'play' with newspaper and come up with two movement sequences that related to our fears. This worked really well as it was much better to let creative ideas flow rather than plan what we were going to do. Since Monday's lesson we met up on Thursday and discussed some more ideas that we had as well as played some games, which also gave us inspiration for our next rehearsal.

Posted by Charlotte Harvey

9) Final Performance Rehearsals
This week has definitely been more productive for our group and we have now begun a more focused devising process. Our previous ideas of blindfolding the audience did not reflect the style of Improbable and created an all-too easy reaction. Instead we have now developed some interesting ways to convey our personal fears in the hope that the audience can relate to our own individual experiences. We began our session with a game of freeze tag. This managed to get all of us warmed up and it also helped us develop a relaxed and improvised narrative theme to our work. This then led on to us incorporating the style of the Improbable production 'Lifegame' into our work, which I really enjoyed. It seems that on the whole our work is now coming together and starting to become much more open, productive and creative which I am very pleased about.

Posted by Faith Brandon-Blatch

10) Blog
I believe this week's work has been very productive, actually having a chance to work like Improbable in a relaxed, playful way was very exciting but also scary at the same time. Our playfulness helped us to form a basis for two scenes which I was really impressed with, although they obviously need polishing somewhat. We also rehearsed on Thursday morning although this session was mainly play, and putting all one's trust in play is quite a daunting experience, it has helped us to ceate a very deep sense of ensemble within our group, and i'm thoroughly enjoying working with our group. I look forward to Monday and to all our future rehearsals to see how our piece begins to take shape.

Posted by Eleanor Rhodes

11) Blog
our first week of rehearsal brought some interesting ideas. we discussed the theme of fear and what it meant to each of us. We came up with the idea of taking one of every one's fears and working dramatising them. We found that a creative way to work was through play, as Improbable themselves do to begin the process. Simply playing around with two of the ensemble's fears and trying to show them with paper created some interesting and even intense ideas. We played around with the newspaper, looking at different ways it could be used to demonstrate the fear of bugs and the fear of pregnancy and although what we created was rough around the edges, some effective imagery began to appear.

Posted by Emily Cookson

12) Improbable Blog
I think that my group have now reached the stage where we are more familiar with each other. My group had initially come up with a lot of ideas about what we wanted to do in our performance. However many of these ideas were not practical. For instance it would not be possible to have a blackout in the boiler house. Some of our ideas contradicted with how ‘Improbable’ work. This meant that we were faced with the task of re-thinking and experimenting with games. There was some reluctance at first to use games as a means of creating drama but at our last rehearsal we successfully used games. We used the improvisation game. This involved creating a scene, although at any point someone could freeze the scene and replace one of the actors to create a new scene. The longer we played the game the more obscure yet amusing the scenes seemed to become. The game fits in well with how our performance seems to be developing. We have used ‘Life Game’ as one of our main influences. We have used acting alongside someone sharing an experience (in our case fears) in a similar way. This means that that the actors are constantly listening to the narration and have to be able to change what they are doing in response to what they are hearing.

Posted by Sylvie Barlow

13) Weekly Blog
Monday's lesson proved very productive for our group as it was the first time we had been able to use a proper rehearsal space to fuel ideas. At first we had difficulty in culminating performance tehniques as we were determined to work from an end product and manipulate our work into our pre-distinguished conclusion. However, this was a great learning curve for us as we realised this was not how Improbable undertake their work. We began playing games and relaxing more within what we were doing, losing the anxiousness of obtaining something interesting and useful. We then found it was much easier to divide into even smaller groups of about five, as these could be chopped and changed and was therefore still identifiable as ensemble work. We took our basic ideas and personal experiences of members of the group, for example fear of insects; death; giving birth etc. and were able to form a structure from what we created out of them. Perhaps our most intriguing scenes came from the unique use of newspaper (a classic Improbable technique) in the "giving birth scene;" and the "human bug scene" whereby we created our own sound effects, and saw the tiny fly grow and develop into a human sized mutant.

Posted by Laurence Brasted

14) Development for Final Piece
This previous week has been exciting and productive and has helped my understanding of improbabale through pratice using their style. I found that our group really benifited through 'playful' improvisations. The creative ideas seemed to flow more as we all became more relax and not worried about saying the first idea that propped into our head. Hopefully this playful style can become part of our final production and the energy and developing ideas can be continued through relevant games and exercises.

Posted by Olivia Pointing

15) Blog
Monday's lesson was really exciting as we had our first practical rehearsal as a group. This was useful as we were able to put all the ideas we had gathered from our discussions and thought showers previously into action. We started by playing a game which raised the focus and energy of the group. We began to work by marking a possible beginning to the piece, however, we felt that this became too static and repetative and wasnt really developing. So we then decided to go back to game playing. This lead us into playing with the fears we had discussed and playing with newspapers and props as toys. This brought a much more cheerful and positive mood back to the devising process and we found that we came up with more material and ideas in the 10 minutes of playing, than we had in the first half an hour of 'marking through' a choreographed routine. During our extra session this week when we met up we continued along these lines and played many games around our stimulous and theme of fear and hopefully this playful attitude will bring authenticity to our performance, much like Improbable who often use playing as a devising tool.

Posted by Helen Hudson

After spending time in the lesson on Monday I found that the games played by Improbable really do help when trying to devise. Instead of sitting down and forcing a scene or a piece we were able to play impro games which then developed into short scenes. This worked because there was not one individual in the group controlling the action and everyone was involved.

Posted by Louisa Hagan

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Student-led Discussion of the theme 'Fear'

Fear discussion
Facilitator: Ella. Note-taker: Emma. Time-keeper: Georg

What have we found out about fear?

Various people had two different definitions for fear, and we found that they were actually all relatively interchangeable.

· Chloe’s two categories were: 1. Social – watching something disturbing/upsetting/moral
2. Primal – fear for yourself and your Safety

· George’s categories were: 1. Rational, such as a fear of death
2. Irrational, such as Vaseline

· Emily’s categories were: 1. Psychological, such as phobias
2. Chemical, anxiety and adrenaline – fight or Flight

Gemma said that fears start in childhood, yet we pay to go and be scared as adults. We want to be scared – it is a morbid fascination, yet we are intrigued by out fears.

Should we be afraid during the performance?

· There is a difference between involving and relating experiences within a theatrical circumstance. It is important not to cross the line into getting too personal.

· Other related questions were brought up, such as do you run because you are scared or are you scared because you run? And there are also physical reactions to fear, such as hairs sticking on end.

· There are various different types of fear that have been experienced by us as a group over the weeks, such as fear of our ideas being rejected, trying to be original, and not accepting ideas, and people were keen to bring these experiences and feelings into the process. It was also pointed out yet again that Improbable are scared and are willing to be scared within their process.

· Chloe brought up the fact that occasionally this can go wrong – such as if you are being asked to think of the pain of a loved one. What we don't want is for the audience or any of us to be traumatised by the experience.

We decided that we didn't want the audience to be complacent, yet we didn't want them to just be shown something, we wanted to give them the actual mental notion of fear. The painting ‘The Nightmare’ (pictured below) was brought into the conversation as well as a possible stimulus for the piece. Artaud was mentioned – and the idea of purging the audience of all emotion – Catharsis, as another possible starting point.

Ailee was saying how actors by definition face more fear by they day than most people – going on stage and being in such a weakened state in front of people is very scary, yet we do it anyway. We are already incredibly brave, and so putting actors into a scary situation could be an extreme.
Posted by Emma Fielding