Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Nailha belongs to the Libu tribe. They have been warriors for many years, fighting anyone who threatens Kalku and the magic tree. Being the magic tree that provides food and drink for the land the Libu tribe feels it is important to protect it. Nailha is slightly reserved, as she learned for her tribe not to trust just from appearance. She is free flowing in movement, yet cautious and direct, she makes sure she knows what needs to be done before she starts anything, giving her the ability to notice any faults or missing information. Although it Nailha takes time to trust someone, when she does, she remains loyal and faithful, unless her mission needs to come first, and as a warrior, she might make sacrifices.

Sunday, 26 April 2009


The week after Easter, the design team got together for a whole building week. It was a very productive week, as lot of costumes and props are ready to be made or almost complete.

That morning we explained to Tina, our Design Coordinator, the story of “The Shrinking Land of Kalku”, and also showed to her, all of our design ideas. From there we organised the next working week.

As Tina could not be present that day, we visited Chiswick House, and although we could not walk around the gardens, we had some good ideas of how to create the route for the play.

We arranged two cars and explored the wonders of fabric shopping, as Tina guided as to the good places and showed us what good prices are. Because our budget is minimal we had to be very careful with the shopping system.

The day started with a production meeting with Al, where he guided us through all the possible and non possible ideas we had. After the meeting we started creating models of the giant caterpillar, and we did the basis for the Milky Magician cloak.

We produced 110 ponchos for the children to wear during the performance.

We walked from Dan’s house with a massive polystyrene boat, which will become the sphinx. I finished the Milky Magicians costume and started working on the Water Nymphs. Matt started working on the risk assessment, and Dan and Amir went shopping for materials.

Since this week we have produced a lot of more work. But for the Design team this week was definitely a high light.

Monday, 30 March 2009


After listening to the story, the Design team had an immediate meeting to decide how we were going to work to be as time efficient as possible and what part of the story each of us would take on board.

Using a very sexist but enjoyable rule the final decision was that girls are in charge of costumes and boys of props and scenery. Although we are separating our selves for different bits of work, we share and consult for ideas with each other.

A lot of big scale ideas emerged from this meeting: a massive Chinese serpent structure to be the caterpillar, a human magician that grows into a giant puppet when he shrinks the audience, a puzzle to be a round key, with different pieces, coloured sashes for the children, and so on.

Emma and I also divided the characters and the tribes between the two of us. We decided on 4 basic colours, one for each tribe. I work with green and orange, and Emma works with purple and turquoise. It is time to get designing now.


On Saturday the 14th of March, I went to Disneyland as part of my dissertation research. My dissertation is about Drama in the Community so all my research towards it is also relevant to Chiswick House project. Going Disneyland was an experience with a surprising outcome. I had been there before to enjoy it fully, but this time I went to observe it. There is a lot of detail put into any wall, floor stone, or anything that you can imagine, but the world is totally superficial. It is all about the exterior, and every time I tried to open a door, it was locked.

I interviewed some workers, and all of them said they believe that Disneyland helps to change and shape children as the happiness of the day fulfils them. I just wonder how a commercial world of materialism can shape anyone into becoming a good person. I just wonder, what is there to be learnt in this world. How to want your ice-cubes to be a Mickey Mouse face?

I did learn two main things out of this experience: How any creative work can be easily transformed into horrible consumerism, and how to shoplift!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


After visiting Chiswick House last week, I just had some ideas that I would like to share with you.

  • First of all, I think that a good way to start would be by creating a world. The story itself would be written to ensemble this world. So for example, if we have 4 tribes of different people or creatures, we could create the story according to this tribes relationships, way of living, or by introducing characters from the world we know to this fantastic new one.
  • If this idea goes forward, we could have face painting going on in the pre show, where the children would pick one of the 4 tribes. By doing so they would become one of the tribe members in the play, and they would feel they were part of the world.
  • Moving on to the use of the garden space, the beautiful white bridge could be a divider of our world to the magical land. The side of the park that is open now would be the mortal side. From this we could create some myths, for example: if any immortal creature from the magical land crosses the bridge they become mortal...
  • I definitely think that the bridge requires a love scene. The characters at the very top and the audience watching down by the river. Beautiful, no?
  • Also, going back to the tribes, we could have a big selection of actors for each tribe. Even if not all of them have lines they can be doing things in the background that are part of tribe’s every day life. For example, building things, eating, playing, etc. This means that we would probably need to get the second years involved with the acting side of the project.

These are just some ideas... hope you like them.

Friday, 6 March 2009


Today we started the university workshops in Alexandra Junior School. As we will have the same group of children every Friday, Rosie and I decided to create a continuous workshop for them. Here is a brief plan of the objectives and activities of the 5 workshops:


First workshop
Create the land, the name for the land, the people, the tribes, and decide who will become part of each tribe.

Second workshop
Get into tribes and decide the details of each tribe, how they eat, drink, their powers, their job in the land, their clothes, and their relationship with the other tribes...

Third workshop
Get into tribes and create the story of the beginning of the tribe, how it became to exist, any myths, and if it turns out to happen any kind of religious beliefs the tribe would have.

Fourth workshop
Get 2 tribes together and create a story including the 2 cultures.

Fifth workshop
All the tribes together create a story for the land.

From today’s workshop we got some amazing material and very positive results from the children. We started by playing games, but then we explained exactly what we were going to do for the 5 workshops and they were very enthusiastic with the idea.
The land is called MOONAKA

The land has: coconut trees, a long river, grass, trees, a forest, stars, dark colours, animals, sand, a lot of cheese, a big house/tower in the middle, palm trees, 3 moons, a fountain, dark sky, some kind of division in the land, statues, people, ships in the river, river creatures, cheese fairies, a cheese house, a massive guest house, a garden with lots of flowers, mummies in the night, ice cream, when it rains it rains sweets and finally it has blue birds.

Who rules the land: as a democratic decision, Mylee Cyrus became the ruler of the land and lives in an RnB Castle.

The Tribes: there were 25 tribes’ ideas, goblins, soldiers, robots, fairies, elves, witches, aliens, genies, emperors, RnB tribe, cheese tribe, Pok√©mon, servants, magicians, wizards, ghosts, unicorns, vampires, water nymphs, gangsters, Pikachu’s, Romans, candy tribe, pink panthers and penguins.
After a very hard voting process we decided on 4 tribes, them being the Water Nymphs, the Candy Tribe, the Pink Panthers and the RnB Tribe.

The children were divided into groups and collectively decided which tribe to be. So next week, let the fun begin...

Thursday, 26 February 2009


In one of our meetings for the big project, the creative team did a workshop with us to find out what kind of ideas we all have for stories. One of the activities, which I find brilliant, was the helicopter story telling. While you come up with a story your partner writes it down and vice versa, then your partner will read your story out loud and the rest of the group will act it while you play the main character, absolutely fantastic. My example:

There was once a Kangaroo,
Who didn’t know what to do.
When ever he tried to walk
He’s friends would start to talk.

He’d shuffle along the ground
Because he’d never learnt to bound
He was a kangaroo without a bounce
And all he could do was flounce

So he left his hometown tribe
As he waved goodbye he cried,
It’s sad, but just one of those things
If you’re born with feet but no springs

In a far, far away land, Dalila the water nymph loved peeking through Joanna’s (the human girl) window. She found everything about her room very fascinating. Joanna of course was not aware of Dalila’s existence. One day Dalila’s sisters found out what she had been doing and told their father. He was so angry that it started raining. Joanna was very surprised by the fact that it was raining because it was a lovely summer’s day. So that day Joanna wasn’t allowed to play in the garden and Dalila got locked in her room under the river.
The next day when Joanna woke up she found something very unusual under her window, a flower that she’d never seen before. Although she knew she wasn’t allowed to go to the forest, she had to find out where this flower had come from because she’d never seen such beauty.
As she was walking through the woods, she started hearing some noises coming from the riverside and she saw all the water nymphs. She was so surprised that she ran back to her house. The next day when Dalila was realised from her room, she heard the other nymphs talking about the human girl so she decided to knock on her window and from that moment Dalila and Joanna became really good friends.

Friday, 30 January 2009


I came across the term Dreamism the other day. I had never heard of it, which quite intrigued me. It is a movement like any other, but for the first time it is applied to the present. Usually a movement happens and it is given a name once it is finished. Dreamism is happening now. It consists of various elements from other movements as well as its own elements.

The expression of dream elements and of the unconscious along with the surprise factor, are very specific to Surrealism and also form a big part of Dreamism. Post-modernism contributes with its hyper reality to the birth of this movement and Romanticism adds to the base of Dreamism the fight against scientific rationalization of nature.

Dreamism main political belief is that dreamists can achieve anything they want even if the rest of us do not believe their capability. Once Dreamism becomes acknowledge by people it will be proving itself. Crazy, no?

Friday, 23 January 2009


All you have to do is go to sleep with a notepad and a pen right next to your bed. When you wake up the next morning, grab the notepad and start writing straight away. Very quickly memories of your dreams will come, and you will see, you can remember much more than what you expected. Come back to it a few days later and read it. It is quite fun.

“I know it is a cave, but it is also at the same time a house. There are loads of us, we are running, hiding. Me and someone else stay behind locking the side door. We hear someone coming, it is a woman, she tries to break in but we are holding the door. The door has windows, I am hiding my face, but the girl next to me is not, and the woman threatens her. The girl starts crying and I say: ‘Don’t worry, if you are well prepared is not that bad’.
We all leave the cave house; there are about 30 of us. The tide is coming up, and the ships in the port are all sinking, we have to swim to get to the other side of the sea, and suddenly I am in a hotel, all warm inside a comfy bed. I step out to the back where the swimming pool is, to admire it. It is an amazing swimming pool build of old stone, and there are dolphins. I get closer and look inside; I see a baby whale stuck to the wall, I want to help the baby whale, but it’s too cold. I look down where the sea is and I can see it is packed with whales. There is a man next to me, and I know he is a dangerous man, I know he is the partner of the woman in the cave house, but this time he doesn’t know I am the one he is after. My phone rings, it’s my dad, he says he will take me to school tomorrow, but he wants to talk to the man next to me. I pass the phone.”


Yesterday I had a call from Rosie, as she came back from Newcastle. She was shocked of how no one spoke or smiled at her during the train journey and she said to me: “People in England are so anti social, why did you come here?”

I have been thinking about that question, and I got to the conclusion that is not the important question, I came to study. The important question is: why do I want to stay? And you see, I’m still trying to find out the answer. What I can tell you is, being in England or being in Portugal is all part of my life but they are two parallel worlds. They are not integrated with each other. I am someone in Portugal and someone else in England, that does not mean I am better in one place than the other, and especially it does not mean I prefer who I am in England just because it is where I want to stay. It just happens.
Of course, that having a better career opportunity influences the fact that I want to stay, but I know there is more to it, and I will keep you posted when I find out the answer.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Danielle, Mark and I went to visit Chiswick house yesterday. I was considerably disappointed as most of the garden and house were closed. We did not see much, and the house is going to be for repair until April, which is not very helpful for our project. We will need a lot of time in the space to be able to create good work. The only reason we have to stick with Chiswick House is due to the funds Mark has applied for. As we have not had an answer about this funding I propose we also look at other places to do our project. I had a quick look into the national trust website and found some nice places, such as Osterley Park and House in Isleworth, Morden Hall Park near Wimbledon, and the Red House, which is a little bit more far way (Bexleyheath), but lovely. Please have a look.

Friday, 16 January 2009


The idea of community has become vast due to globalisation. But how was it in the past? How was it in a village?

I have been visiting many National Trust properties lately, and there is a specific one in Cornwall that requires a journey to the past. A festival could be developed for that property by recreating the old community of the village and combine it with theatre, music and art

Recreating the village would involve a massive production on costume and props. The investigation of the old community would also be crucial to create the story. There would be a necessity for a very large cast and artists’ crew. The idea is to have around 6 plays, or 6 plots running in a promenade style that have a story connection, which would lead to a big finale by sharing the last scene together.

During these performances musicians and street artists would be around the village playing music or doing portraits of audience members, the same way it used to be done at the time we are recreating. There could also be a street art craft fair, selling all kinds of things of that era.
I imagine this project to have a length of approximately 4 days, having camping fields were the audience could stay at night.

Anyone interested in the Cornwall Festival?