Drama Students Wave Goodbye To Inhibitions In Gecko Workshop

“I need to see tentacles of bravery!”

The problem with Drama is that you can have pupils who want to be 'actooors, dahrling', or those who hang back, fearful of letting go. It’s a fine line. Couple that with the day to day challenges of being a teen and the drama theatre can either be a place of liberation of one of intense, uncomfortable scrutiny.

Princethorpe College Drama department invited practitioner and actress Georgie, from acclaimed Gecko theatre company, to workshop with 48 GCSE and A-Level students; precisely to explore this idea of creative and emotional freedom.

What she achieved was nothing short of alchemy.

‘There’s no right or wrong in the Gecko world,” exclaimed Georgie as she herded pupils into the most impressive of breathy montages lit only by a hand held lamp. A creepy Bjork soundtrack bristled in the background as they articulated feelings of refugees on board a boat to a new life. “Say to your audience what you want them to feel, you have to be magnificently brave.” And Georgie swooped into a new direction unleashing life into Year 10s who, I’m sure, have never before been pushed, theatrically, this far.

Gecko’s premise is all about the visceral – connecting vital emotions with exhilarating physicality. In keeping with the College’s week of European languages there was even a smattering of French and Russian to play with amongst the shuddering breath sounds that shaped students’ ensemble work.

College Drama teachers Mrs Roberts and Mrs Cefaliello watched enthralled. “All our students are currently preparing practical assessed work. They will be able to build today’s experience into their pieces. Having Georgie in school has brought a vitality to their learning, reminding them that there is a whole world of theatre beyond the classroom. It’s been brilliant having her here.”