infinite jest

Infinite Jest Blog

Days 4 and 5 - Westminster Under School

Posted : September 22, 2016

Day 4 - 15 September

This evening we were exploring the first half of The Girl and the North Wind, a Nordic folk tale. I asked the boys to improvise some dance moves inspired by the Norwegian folk music I've chosen-they came up with some fantastic suggestions and I'll now go away and loosely choreograph a dance for the beginning and the end of the story. There are a number of challenges in this piece: the troll hag is a puppet operated by one of the boys, Bruno.  As a puppeteer myself, I know how hard it is to convincingly play a character using puppetry. I have a feeling he'll be very good though as he's really embracing the character's voice and idiosyncrasies. The second big challenge is the magic that happens in the story. We have to convey a table cloth that spreads itself and is groaning with food, a goat that poos solid gold coins, and a stick that has a life of its own. I'm planning on using some of the boys as object manipulators to help with these moments, that's if we can all stop giggling at the goat doing a pooh.


Day 5 - 17 September

Today we had a whole afternoon to break the back of our longest, and probably most complex story, Beauty and the Beast. It was occasionally hard for the boys to keep focussed during the group scenes and it really helped when we had Mr Hill in the rehearsal room offering ideas. However, we came up with some great theatrical moments and I'm really looking forward to seeing the snow storm scene in performance, as well as the rose garden depicted with colourful umbrellas, and the essential element-the live sound effects performed on stage. 

Westminster Boys - Day 3 - Tues 13th Sept

Posted : September 16, 2016

This evening was really fun. We were exploring the first half of the Emperor's New Clothes and the boys were focussed and, as ever, full of ideas about how we can stage my modern interpretation of the story. The opening "number" is a sort of city scape where we see the entire gamut of London society going about their business, all to a soundtrack by that quintessential Londoner Ian Dury. Expect business men, builders and beggars. The boys who have learnt their lines are really excelling in the piece and able to explore the nuances of their characters. I must say, though, I've been very impressed with how all of them have responded to direction. There have been some fine attempts at cockney accents too. We have to wait to the next rehearsal to work out how to stage the famous naked scene...I think Joshua is getting nervous! 

Rehearsing The Tales at Westminster Boys School

Posted : September 13, 2016

First two rehearsals...