Living “The Dream”

12 07 2013

A Midsummer Nights Dream image

Rehearsals for “The Dream” are going well and the kids have really risen to the challenge.

At the end of an incredibly stressful week for my little bunnies, we did a full run through today.

The circumstances were far from ideal. It was painfully hot. We were in the canteen. Our improvised set involved tables strategically placed to represent our stage blocks. Some members of the cast including principal roles would occasionally disappear for about 20 minutes or so to take their external exam. Stress levels were extremely high and tempers were frayed.

But there was plenty of good news.

The kids have finally realised that A Midsummer Night’s Dream is actually a comedy. Hermia’s stern rebuke of Lysander’s advances when she warns him to “Lie further off” is hilarious. We all giggled as Helena begged unashamedly for Demetrius love and Egeus facial expressions when it dawns on him that his beloved daughter has been discovered asleep next to Lysander having spent the night with him a forest are absolutely priceless.

The kids also did their own make-up designs today with some amazing and creative choices. The back stage crew happily painted thrones and stage blocks and despite the high stress levels it was an extremely productive day.

We will know whether it has all been worth it on Monday – opening night.

However I have realised that in a production set in a forest that I have failed to cast any children in the coveted role of “a tree”.

I feel I am a disgrace to the drama teaching profession.

I have let the myself down, let the kids down, in fact I have let everyone down!

Keep “dreaming”!


Fantasy Cast List – my department

26 03 2013

Ok my job is a bit weird. Taken at face value I work in education, I am what is known as a pillar of the community and a role model.

But in reality…I teach Drama and I say sentences every day that no one would ever expect to utter aloud! I currently work with two of the most wacky and wonderful women I have ever met and a bloke who defies description!

So the actors charged with the responsibility of re-enacting my working life have a tough job.

Head of department - dearest Jane - is my very own hell hound and I wouldnt have her any other way.

Meryl Streep is the only choice for my Head of department – dearest Jane – she is my very own ‘hell hound’ and I wouldnt have her any other way.

Quirky Emily is believed to have starred in Hot Fuzz by the students - a rumour we have neither confirmed nor denied! My working life would be empty without my partner in crime!

Quirky Lucy Punch would play my sidekick Emily who is believed by many of our students to have starred in Hot Fuzz. It is a rumour we have neither confirmed nor denied! My working life would be empty without my partner in crime!

Collectively we have on occassion been been known as “Oddies Angels” but ‘dearest Jane’ definitely would not approve of this label!

Eddikins has only joined us on a temporary contract this year and was compared to the lovely Jeremy Kyle. TBH I can sort of see it but only if Jeremy had recently consumed 6 cans of red bull and a sherbet dip!

Eddikins has only joined us on a temporary contract this year and was compared to the lovely Jeremy Kyle. TBH I can sort of see it but only if Jeremy had recently consumed 6 cans of red bull and a sherbet dip!


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5 03 2013


In my role as a Drama teacher, I have had the dubious pleasure of marking coursework over the last month.

After 20 almost identical responses to the same stimulus I started to become frustrated with the limited voabulary of my students. Every student in my class described the posture of their character as “hunched” which was my blinking example! (I want to use a “stronger” word but it seems inappropriate in a post about education and use of language)

I am appealing to anyone with even the most basic grasp of the English language to help me devise a list of key words to do with the use of the following things:

Facial Expression, Movement, Voice (language & sound), Posture and Atmosphere.

In the brief time I have devoted to this task this evening I have come up with the following:

Facial Expression: grimace, wince, frown, blush, smile, wink, snarl, set jaw, raised eyebrow(s), glare, stare, contorted, screwed up, cringe, recoil, glower, puckered brow, mope, beam, grin, smirk, twinkle, sparkle, sneer, knotted, twisted, squirm, flinch, shrink, shy away, cower

Movement: jerk, twitch, kick, flinch, jump, run, skip, wiggle, shimmy, shake, limp, quiver, shudder, strut, stroll, wander, meander, somersault, leap, skulk, slither, slide, yank, tug, pull, wrench, tweak, jolt, spasm, convulse, tremble, contract, lash out, jolt, thrust, baulk, draw back, bound, soar, shoot, jig, sprint, jog, scuttle, scamper, dart, dash, scurry, prance, twist, shiver, wobble, vibrate, hobble, shuffle, bend, floppy, wilted, flacid, quake, vibrate, tremor, palpitation, swagger, march, parade, amble, saunter, ramble, dive, hurdle, lurk, loiter, creep, prowel, glide, skip, slide, snatch, heave, haul, heave, push, ripple.

Voice: stammer, stutter, slur, bark, purr, cry, wail, howl, grunt, gasp, shout, whisper, yell, scream, drone, monotone, intone, immitate, thunder, falter, hesistate, speech immpediment, rumble, mumble, murmur, wheeze, pant, puff, sigh, whine, rumble, hesitate, fade, tail off,

Posture: slumped, slouched, hunched, upright, tense, drooping, wilting, flabby, floppy, curved, bent, arched, stooped, erect, straight, vertical, horizontal,

Atmosphere: chaotic, frenzied, calm, triumphant, serene, celebratory, scary, spooky, intense, electric, intimidating, horrifying, peaceful, relaxed, rushed, confused, sickening, gruesome, shocking, disordered, muddled, messy, untidy, hectic, hyperactive, harried, hysterical, posessed, tranquil, still, composed, unruffled, victorious, exltant, passionate, extreme, severe, thrilling, stimulating, threatening, frightening, menacing, nerve-wracking,

Please help me to devise a more comprehensive list and help to restore my faith in language skills. There must be some people who still have a good command of the English language. For what it is worth; I myself far from perfect, my spelling is horrific and I make frequent grammatical errors but I do check my work and make changes when possible improvements are identified and I would like to think that if occasson demanded I would be able to express myself well using the written word.

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