We were once again delighted to welcome internationally renowned theatre company, Frantic Assembly to the school to deliver a ‘Divising and Physicality’ workshop to Fifth Form Drama boys preparing for their GCSE exams.
Fifth Former, Thomas Webb, shares his experience:
On Monday 14 January, Fifth Form GCSE Drama students took part in a Frantic Assembly. The workshop involved a large element of physical theatre. We began working on the concept of spatial awareness, which included moving around the space and around obstacles whilst three other people did the same. This required a large sense of spatial awareness and an element of trust. We then moved on to paired lifts. The lift required a point of contact, a balance point and momentum. The first lift we were introduced to was a side-to-side swinging motion, which required both participants giving equal strength to one another. We then found momentum by rotating the lift 90 degrees. The second lift we learnt was lifting your partner into a horizontal position. This lift also requires a point of contact at the knee, and a momentum point of swinging the other person around and placing them onto the knees. After we learnt the lifts, we moved to making a sequence of movements and holds. We found this sequencing very useful as the workshop will heavily benefit scenes in our devising work.
This was followed with a trip enjoyed by our Lower Sixth Theatre Studies students to see Frantic Assembly’s latest production of The Unreturning at The Theatre Royal Stratford East on Thursday 24 January. The piece explored the stories of three men from Scarborough who return home from war. There is a shell-shocked young man home from the First World War, a soldier dishonourably discharged in Afghanistan who is all over the tabloids, and a refugee in 2026 on a quest to find his brother in the UK, now a country stricken by civil war. The production incorporates Frantic Assembly’s signature style of fast-paced, emotive physical theatre, together with a moving and engaging soundtrack. As Frantic Assembly are a prescribed practitioner for the A-Level course, this was a fantastic opportunity for the boys see their work in action. The boys will not only be able to write about the show as part of their live theatre preparation, but also use the techniques and innovative ideas within their devised projects.