Well what can I say, what a glorious day!
As a Stage Manager, I did have my reservations about a Devising Masterclass with Forced Entertainment but by the end of the day, I felt as though I had learnt so much, not just about the devising of theatre, but also about the human condition.
I have always had a great interest in people and their stories and this workshop really drew upon a lot of these interests. None of the exercises were forced, it was all based on random situations – which were of course set up in some way – but that always played on random things occurring from any given situation and gave some beautiful results in when put into practice.
One of my favourite things about the day was an exercise where a five of the group were asked to stand in a line and make comments about each other. They were asked to say things they liked about the person, but they were given freedom in the fact that they could lie – such as saying ‘I like how this person has robbed a bank before’ etc. This brought out some very naturally funny situations which, to an audience, would appear fresh and interesting to watch, and not rehearsed to the point where it doesn’t involve a natural reaction.
There was also an exercise where people were asked to sort themselves into some sort of order in the line they were standing in – this culminated in a kind of ongoing shuffling. This was very interesting to watch as it created a story through movement, which again to an audience would look fantastic.
Overall, what I learnt from this session was that the thing that is most interesting to an audience is story and natural human behaviour. This is something that I will definitely use in my work and in the devising term that we have coming up with Emerging Perspectives – Can’t wait!
Natalie Smallwood, Stage Manager, Emerging Perspectives Company