Royal Shakespeare Company Workshop by Archie Allen
On the 6th of February, 30 students from Tavistock College, took part in a drama workshop with Sophie Hobson from the Royal Shakespeare Company. The company are currently touring their Graffiti Ghanaian twist on ‘Hamlet’, so the workshop itself drew from many aspects from the play. We were encouraged to just completely let ourselves go of all reserve and as a result we all threw themselves into the vocal, physical and mental warm ups and the exercises that followed. These exercises all revolved around Hamlet, whether it be script, plot or theme focused. After warm up, the group worked to create several freeze frames reducing down the plot of Hamlet, from a happy family, to the death of a father and the subsequent twists of the tale. We utilized script from Hamlet’s opening monologue, memorizing lines and portraying our concept on the meaning behind them. After experimenting with text and language form, we had a chance to create and perform the argument between Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude. We played with the way we performed it, using different techniques to convey a variety if emotions, spinning the scene whichever way we were asked to, for instance having to perform an otherwise tense scene in an ecstatic manor or repeating key phrases from another character. All in all the group partaking in the mentally and physically energetic workshop thoroughly enjoyed it, as each of us took away something interesting that we had learnt from the experience. Two days later, with a further 20 students, we then went to see Hamlet at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, which was by many accounts an incredible, memorable piece of theatre, that we would all highly recommend anyone to go and see.