Guest Blog – UCAN Create Session 2 – Mathilde Lopez
yello brick are currently collaborating with UCAN Productions on a professional development project designed for the young people within the group. Megan John and Mared Jarman (@blindnotbored) of UCAN Productions continue their guest blog spot as part of the UCAN Create Series. Find out more about UCAN Create in our Case Studies Section.
On Friday evening the 29th of January UCAN Create ran the Second Master Class, this time with practitioner Mathilde Lopez. UCAN Create is all about creating, producing and showcasing your own work. It gives young people the opportunity to learn a new skill, work with some amazing people and create something new and unique.
Unique would definitely be one word I’d use to describe the experience of the workshop. From listening to Mathilde describe the work she’d previously done to represent pink through movement, we had the opportunity to discover how creatively she works. I found the session really interesting and thought provoking, as it made me start thinking about how I could work with space and text in a new way.
We began the workshop listening to Mathilde describing her previous work, which I think everyone would agree I could have happily done all evening. It was really intriguing to hear her explain that one of the things she does is to read the play or text in its entirety and to note down the first words that came to her before beginning to work on it.
However, we quickly moved on to getting up and being creative ourselves. We got an insight in how Mathilde would utilise the space for a performance and through an exercise she explained and demonstrated how to work with and against space. This then led into an exercise where we were asked to portray whatever colour was shouted out through movement and sound. We explored pink, yellow, black and even silver.
We then began to do a similar exercise but using words, by adding an action in order to change the tone of voice and over-exaggerate the meaning, which allowed us to explore new ways of combating text. This then led onto a series of exercises, while using an excerpt from one of Caryl Churchill’s works, Mathilde demonstrated how utilising punctuation by replacing commas and question marks with an action or sound can be very effective. This adds dimension and purpose, making it a powerful piece to watch and listen to. Taking what we’d just learnt, in groups we developed this concept further.
After the workshop the general feedback was extremely positive. Considering everyone was quite nervous and unsure what to expect at the beginning, we’re very proud of everyone for taking part and for giving everything a go. Amy and Hannah explain this perfectly:
“Mathilde’s workshop was a real eye opener as it allowed me to approach text differently. I enjoyed the completely different directorial style as it pushed me but also gave me a lot more confidence.” Amy. 17
“When the workshop with Mathilde first started I was a bit uncomfortable with the activities we were asked to do, she has a very strong personality and it wasn’t a style of directing I had worked with before. When I looked around and saw how ridiculous everyone else was being I soon relaxed and got into things. It turned out to be really enjoyable. It was great to learn how you can put movement with words and how the slight change can impact the flow you want the words to have. I would definitely like to do another workshop with her, she’s a brilliant woman and after I got comfortable I really enjoyable the workshop.” Hannah, 20
After the first two master classes being such a success we can’t wait to get stuck in to the next one.