November: New Year, New Youth Theatre
It’s been a few months since we last blogged about our Southwark Youth Theatre, and in that time, much has changed! Company Manager Dorothy tells all…
New company, new practitioners, new company manager (hello – that’s me!).
After two rounds of auditions back in October, we began meeting each Saturday morning in the Globe’s Sackler Studios where, under the tutelage of our Globe Education Practitioners, the company spend two hours learning and practising skills in text work, movement, improvisation and voice.
The fundamental principles of the Southwark Youth Theatre are as follows: five core values, four Globe Education Practitioners, three sharing performances, two fabulous stages, one excellent company. We aim to bring our core values (Respect, Connect, Support, Perform, Commit) into everything we do. Our four Practitioners (Kate, Sarah, Jack and Scott) are professional actors with years of experience working at the Globe who lead our weekly youth theatre sessions.
Our sharing performances are held at the end of our three terms on our two fabulous stages (the Globe and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) and performed by our brilliant company of 10-18 year olds who live or learn in the borough of Southwark. This year, all of our sharing performances will be based around a great Shakespearean tragedy: King Lear. With eye-gouging and treachery aplenty, this is a story guaranteed to entertain audiences and performers alike, but before tackling it head on, the company have to build up the skills they will need for their final performances.
Our last two sessions have been particularly exciting; focussing on the practical skills of stage combat and puppetry. Under the guidance of Jack and Sarah, the company built their own newspaper puppets, and learnt how to heighten their focus to make the puppets breathe, move and think. The following week, they put their gladiatorial heads on and choreographed a short fight scene under the watchful eye of fight director Marcello.
Once everyone had got their breath back, we then hopped on a train and headed off for our first external trip of the year: Devil You Know Theatre Company’s production of Macbeth at the Bussey Building, in Peckham Rye. During the Q&A session after the performance, the Youth Theatre Company took the opportunity to pick the actors’ brains on everything from how to learn lines, to how to approach playing a character who is morally repulsive.
Next Saturday we shall meet again (in thunder, lightning and in rain) to begin preparing for our December sharing in earnest. So, as we prepare to leave Birnam Wood and venture once again towards the cliffs of Dover, all that remains for me to say is thank you very much for reading, and would you please join me in welcoming the Southwark Youth Theatre Company of 2017-18!