Participants arrived into a slightly chilly studio at Bishop Grosseteste University College yesterday (warmer room next time, promise!) – and identified some of their skills and interests on a wall chart to get the conversation going before beginning the creative work.
We introduced ourselves and created a performance space together. Individuals offered some dramatic images of ‘beginning’ which we worked with in the group. Individuals chose words and pictures representing the theme, either in relation to the Lincoln Mystery Plays or to their lives generally. These were shared in pairs, each pair presenting verbally or dramatically as they chose. I worked with Felix on the idea of a dream cycle, with random words on cards spilling out and around his head in a halo before being gathered up on waking (see picture).
The group divided into performace and production groups for discussion about the project before taking a break.
After the break we worked with the first play in the Lincoln Mystery Plays cycle ‘The Creation of Heaven (The Fall of Lucifer)’. Participants chose individual lines from the text, and Musical Director for the project Maurice Mulligan conducted us before we went ‘freestyle’ with the soundscape. Then individuals explored the action of the lines before moving together. Heaven and Hell were identified in the performance space and participants chose their locations. The structure of the play was articulated and an improvision of the play developed.
The group gathered for a debrief afterwards, discussing the challenges and benefits of improvisation, among other ideas that had come up, and naming what they were ‘taking away’ from this first session.
A good start. Repeat on Wednesday (with variations!)