Drama students from Y11 and Y12 enjoyed a stimulating day out in London – by Ms Pearse

“Our first event, Monday 21st January:  A student conference, with over twenty other schools, filled up the Lyttleton theatre with talks on Live Theatre Reviews with the renowned Lynn Gardner (former Guardian theatre critic) and a peek at the Devising Methods of the artistic team of Gecko.  This was a brave workshop, where Gecko artists had the whole auditorium taking part in breath and ‘mumble’ exercises – core techniques used by the theatre company to produce their powerful and emotional work.  We learnt about the play we would watch that evening and how the ‘seed of an idea’ started a two-year Research and Development process to produce this amazing piece of theatre.

We had three hours before the show and we were lucky with a clear night and a glorious walk along the Southbank to the Tate Modern, with many stops for ‘insta’ reasons. Year 12 students began a hunt at the Tate Modern to find some stimulating ideas for their own devising pieces, which they will be producing later in their course.

Back at the National Theatre, there was a buzz as we joined the public for the evening show. ‘Kin’ was both a tense, sometimes funny, amazingly visceral experience where lighting and scenery were as much performers as the beautiful moves of the living artists who weaved in and out of scenes that moved into light and dark on a stage with a rotating platform.  To cap off the evening, we took part in the artistic director panel discussion where Amit Lahav and his team listened to audience responses before answering questions, and I was moved to hear so many tearful and cathartic thankyous to the performers.  The seed idea was ‘migration’ and it had touched the audience including many of our students.  This was certainly ‘Total theatre’, a coin interpreted by Gecko to bring all elements of theatre together in one breathing whole, including the audience.  I felt privileged to have been a part.

Many thanks to Mrs Lowe and Mrs Wilson for supervising this trip.”