Drama department hosts actor talks

Last week, the Drama department hosted Olivier Award nominee Zubin Varla and Georgina Lamb, as they provided a series of workshops for our students.

On Wednesday, Zubin Varla entertained Fifth and Sixth Formers. With the Fifth Formers, he focused on the play Dara – in which he starred in 2015 – and explored the importance and potential of a full-fleshed contextual understanding of a piece, especially one based intrinsically on true events, as is the case with Dara. Given his recent role as Dysart in the Trafalgar Studios production of Equus, the same production which the Sixth Formers went to see last term, Zubin also hosted an in-depth question and answer session, on his and the production’s re-imagining of the text, and an actor’s approach to character. In addition to the talks, Zubin also conducted an hour-long monologue workshop for those Sixth Formers interested in applying for theatre-based degrees or Drama School courses, offering sensitive criticism that encouraged the students to reflect upon and edit their own dramatic choices.

On Friday, Georgina Lamb, an actress and deviser who has previously worked extensively with theatre company Frantic Assembly, gave a series of workshops on physicality within performance. Georgina helped students look at beginning scenes and devised pieces by creating physical, movement-based sequences that could inform character dynamics and relationships, before then creating dialogue and turning the focus to plot. By responding to stimuli initially with collaborative movements, the collectively interpreted themes of a piece may be discovered organically, and a sense of a singular, united mindset within a group may be nurtured. Georgina also demonstrated the importance of warming up thoroughly before rehearsing, as a means of helping to draw out one’s willingness to engage and to interpret things in more abstract, heavily physical ways.

Many thanks to Zubin Varla and Georgina Lamb for their time, as well as to Miss Markland for her organisation of both events Charlie Cooper, Drama Gap Student