Reflections on Nearly Real Theatre Winter School 2014

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Lucy Pearce

The first ever Solo Nearly Real theatre workshop was an historic event.

Our intention is to grow this form—autobiographical solo theatre—and to create a centre of excellence here in Totnes.

There are currently 2 threads. These are an annual autobiographical theatre festival and a series of workshops in theatre practice each year.

The Nearly Real Winter Workshop was our first workshop. We began the journey together of taking our stories, what touches our hearts and souls, and breathing life into it. And seeing what emerges from this new life.

We are building a language of structure and form for our stories to move through / live inside / hang off / ride bareback on / hide under.

Our workshop was beautifully led by Simon Thorne, a practitioner, friend and fellow traveller with a lightness of touch and surefootedness. Thank you Simon.

For me, the 3 day workshop provided an immersion in theatre practice which was delicious, at times confronting, and nonetheless allowed for a new understanding of structure through practice and play which is invaluable. A process of discovery, together.

My thanks to everyone who participated for making this a truly unforgettable experience.

I look forward to your shows, imaginings, or fragments of sharing at the 2014 Nearly Real Festival!

Jenny Dainton

Jenny DaintonI signed up for this workshop with the express wish to be able to tell a story as part of a body of work I am trying to complete, prior to exhibiting it in the Autumn.

I was adamant I did not want to tell my story. In this I had completely missed the point. In order to tell someone else’s story with authenticity and conviction you need to understand why their experiences strike a chord within you.

The journey I was personally taken on over the three days with Simon, Mo [Cohen] and everyone else was beyond anything that I had expected.

I was a complete novice at the beginning but through play, song, movement and improvisational acting I was challenged and totally supported to examine and identify what it was in me that made me so strongly identify with the little girl I wanted to tell the story about.

In the end I came to fully understand how powerful this transformational process is. I will approach everything I do now with more confidence and authenticity. I cannot express how grateful I am to Simon, Mo and the other participants for leading me so carefully and thoughtfully through everything that happened on the way.

Carrie Alcott

I found it fun, supportive, held, light hearted, skillful, caring, thoughtful.

It has altered my perception of being percieved in an interesting way.

Maybe it’s as simple as improved social confidence in being/ feeling accepted in part due to exposure to others – not in a therapeutic sense but a normal life sense, which carries more integration, but also the kindness of others.

If you took part in Winter School and would like to submit your own reflections, please go to the Contact page.

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