Monday 26th November was Matilda Day for some of our students here at New Line Learning Academy.
We had two members from the Performing Arts industry come in to teach and discuss Matilda the Musical to a select group of students. Oliver Rhys, a member of the West-end cast for Matilda, came in to teach Key Stage 3 about the characters in Matilda and how they are portrayed on the West-end stage. Key Stage 4 had their workshop with Assistant Stage Manager of Matilda, Hannah Bunton. Hanna taught students about what occurs in the background off stage and the impact it can have on the performance.
Key Stage 3:
Oliver Rhys has extensive experience working as a character actor in the West-end; his latest experience draws from his time performing in Matilda. He brought his knowledge and expertise to our Performing Arts students, delivering a workshop that aimed at getting the children to embody the 'big grotesque characters' that populate Roald Dahl's book, Matilda.
To get the children warmed up, Oliver performed some exercises to test their spatial awareness, in doing so, he was able to get students into a similar mindset as each other with children moving to occupy empty spaces, making sure everyone in the classroom was spaced out equally.
Later into the workshop, Oliver had students acting out and performing lines for different characters from Matilda. He asked students to base their body language on how they thought the line would be delivered by the characters they were portraying. He had students repeat line such as "That's not fair" from Matilda herself and "You snivelling maggot" from Miss Trunchbull.
The students had a fantastic day of learning and performing with Oliver; thank you for coming in and brining out the best in our Performing Arts students.
Key Stage 4:
Our year 10 & 11 students had the pleasure of learning all about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a performance from Hannah Bunton. Hannah has five years experience as an ASD, working on plays such as Matilda and War Horse, whilst also being involved with Secret Cinema.
Unlike the Key Stage 3 workshop, this one would not focus on acting, rather everything that goes on during a stage play in the background.
Hannah taught students about the amount of effort and time that goes into planning and executing a stage play, from different prompts (lighting, props, etc.) to actors scripts and timing. She had students work together to draw up mind-maps of what other aspects might need to be considered when managing a stage play.
Hannah's knowledge and background was a special insight for our students, allowing them to better understand the many positions that go into making a stage play great and successful. Thank you for your time Hannah.