Ragtag Saturday: The Lie of the Land

I’ve got two daughters who have the acting gene: who’ve often performed and entertained on stage over the years.  Where did they get this gene from?  Not me.  I was a servant once in a school play, and spoke two whole lines.  That’s my Drama CV.

Yet apparently,  Malcolm and I will be part of a troupe appearing on stage for one night only at the Frazer Theatre Knaresborough, to perform an improvised drama about … well, what else?… Brexit.

It was Phil’s idea.  He’s a professional theatre director, and he’s one of our People’s Vote team.  He thought we needed something to entertain the campaigning troops all over North Yorkshire and  bring us and a wider public together for something a little different.  Adrian, also part of the team, offered practical and technical expertise.

And suddenly … there we were, rehearsing, about a dozen of us.  Most of us had never met each other before.  No script.  No lines.  No clear idea where this might go….  yet.  This was to be Improvised Theatre.  We played games.  ‘Think of one thing you like about being part of Europe.’ (Just one?) ‘Now make a statue of it.’  We’ve made more statues, taught our poses to others, worked with them to make vignettes.  We’ve played ball games, word games. We’ve told stories about our own experiences of Europe and  of the-Brexit-to-be, and with Phil, woven these into scenes and tableaux .  We’ve sung a sea shanty, improvised ‘Question Time’.  Phil and Adrian persuaded someone to confect a video. All this weekend, we’ll be working solidly to pull everything together.  Well, Phil will.  He’s got an eye for when there’s a nugget worth mining for, a gem worth polishing.From the latest North Yorkshire for Europe newsletter.

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is ‘Play’.

28 thoughts on “Ragtag Saturday: The Lie of the Land”

  1. What a brilliant idea, I do hope it goes well. Your post raised an issue which I’ve thought about before and really shows my ignorance; if it’s improvised why do you rehearse?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not at all. Why should you know? Well, the director starts with a picture in his/her head about how things may go. The troupe spends many hours looking at the ideas that everyone contributes, working with some or many of them to devise scenes, vignettes, mimes… all sorts. The director is the one who contributes most to thinking how all these offerings may work best together, but the whole team is in on this too. The material is rehearsed and revised, as many times as is feasible ( in this case, not many). By the time of the performance, the team are no longer improvising much, even though they may not have learnt any exact words, but rather know what needs to be said or shown. I suppose it may be a bit like how some people write a book. There’s an idea. Then maybe research and a rough draft. Maybe more drafts, until at last the finished work is written. It’s been tremendous fun, and I’ve learnt such a lot. But I think the theatrical world will be able to soldier on quite nicely without me once this is over.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Improvisation? That brings back my memories of acting. I had six different roles in a production of Julius Caesar, and one required me to even stand out of the crowd and say a word: “Aye”. Unfortunately Cassius muffed his lines and skipped most of one act, taking away three of my roles, including the speaking part. I’m sure your experience will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this sounds terrifying! But I know how strongly you feel about this whole Brexit thing so it must be sort of cathartic to satirize it. I hope the show is fun and a huge success (and not terrifying at all). Let us know!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, we can be both loud and quiet. Nervous now. The stage is not my natural milieu I think. But I hope it will be rather good, though a trifle under-rehearsed. But the news gets worse so quickly that things have moved onwards (backwards?) even since your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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