Our starter activity was standing up one at a time in silence, so we were not allowed to verbally communicate with each other and to gain our concentration first lesson on a Monday morning.
Then we started hour three of the mock workshop, which we new nothing about, apart from that the title is “trapped”.
The second activity was to work in pairs and portray two characters, one that was timid and vulnerable and the other who was manipulative and confident. Using the drama techniques of puppetry, manipulation, facial expressions, status and gestures to show who was which character.
After this our teacher then revealed that in an abstract way our characters were representing a disaster in Britain in 1966, where a waste tip slid down a mountain top in South Wales. Consequently covering and destroying a local primary school and some houses, and resulted in the death of 166 school children and 5 teachers. We then learnt that the timid and vulnerable character was the innocent school children, and the confident and manipulative one was the tonne of waste that destroyed everything in it’s path.
Next we used the explorative strategy of cross cutting as the foundation to create a short piece of drama to represent the everyday life of primary school children, contrasted with the mental and physical destruction of the waste tip sliding down the mountain. The children were in assembly at the time of the disaster, singing
“All things bright and beautiful”, so in the background whilst we were creating our performances this was played to help our understanding of the innocence of the children and to add emotion to our pieces.
We abstractly re-enacted the disaster, as the children singing beforehand, and then we showed what happened after; the men working together with bull dozers and trucks to clean up the debry, everybody frantic to save their child. Parents searching desperately through the rubble. We then changed the dynamics from fast, to slow, acting as the mothers and fathers of children who know their child’s fate.
Finally we watched and evaluated the other groups performances, remaining sensitive as this was a true story, so avoiding comical performances. The lesson broadened my understanding of the event, and gave us all the ability to put ourselves in other people positions, respecting what they had to go through, and how the children may have felt being trapped.
By Lauren Bromley,Head Girl.