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Patrick Sandford returns !

mercredi 20 juillet 2011 , par auteur Anne Saint-Germier

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With a lot of enthusiasm, the street arts students met Nuffield Theatre Artistic Director Patrick Sandford again at Atelier 231 for another drama workshop.

A strong connection has developed between the young actors and the Artistic Director since they first met last November. More than an acting lesson, Patrick Sandford shares his life philosophy with the students.

No need to introduce each other, the students and the Director know each other very well. But it was an excuse for a first acting exercise : the young comedians had to act as if they had forgotten the name of their partner and guess it. An embarrassing situation but very frequent in daily lifes.

Thanks to this exercise, Patrick led the students to observe the contradiction of our body language in this kind of situation : we smile excessively and do a lot of gestures in order to hide our embarrassment. This type of exercise enables us to step back at from our daily behaviours and use them in acting. Looking at the reality enables us to be more credible on stage.

The Artistic director managed to create a good team spirit. Anyone in the room has been invited to join the workshop, such as Nina, Atelier 231’s intern. And no hierarchy ! Teachers take part in the workshop on an equal terms with their students. Only Daniel Andrieu, director of Atelier 231, managed to slip away… To work as a team is not always easy. In order to develop listening skills and helping each other, Patrick asked the young actors to take on a few challenges : to tie up a shoe or build a paper airplane doesn’t seem very difficult, but everything is much more complicated when you are two with one hand in the back ! Patience is very important and the partners must set up a strategy together.

Patrick then asked two volunteers to choose between two envelopes. Surprise : in one of them was a 10€ note ! It gave an opportunity to study the two students’ behavior. How did each one react when opening the envelop ? Joy and embarrassment for the winner, jealousy, sadness or disinterest for the loser ? But beyond the behaviour’s observation Patrick Sandford shared his philosophy of life with the students. The envelopes are a symbol of life’s good or bad news. So Patrick wants to encourage the young comedians to “open the envelopes” ! Of course they will be sometimes empty but it is important to seize one’s chance.

La séance s’est terminée sur un exercice autour du repas. Mange-t-on de la même manière lorsque l’on est une princesse, un émigré affamé, ou encore un prisonnier ? Voilà ce que les élèves ont pu expérimenter autour de mises en situation avec assiettes et couverts généreusement prêtés par Didier, l’un des cuisiniers de l’Atelier 231. Autour de cette simple proposition les acteurs en herbe ont su créer de véritables univers : un centre d’accueil pour émigrés, un restaurant de luxe ou encore le parloir d’un tribunal.
The workshop ended with an exercise focused on the theme of food. Do a princess, a starving immigrant and a prisoner eat the same way ? Here is what the students experienced through scenarii using plates and cuttlery provided by Didier, one of the two chefs ar Atelier 231. The students created a whole world : a shelter for immigrants, a luxurious restaurant, a Court’s visiting room. C’est avec un peu de tristesse que le metteur en scène et les élèves se sont quittés ; mais avec la très forte envie de se revoir. En effet, les jeunes sottevillais ont pour projet de venir rendre visite à Patrick Sandford chez lui, au Nuffield Theatre de Southampton. The Artistic Director and and the students had to say goodbye to eachother, not without sadness, but with the strong idea to see eachother again. Indeed, the young people from Sotteville are planning to visit Patrick Sandford in Southampton, at the Nuffield Theatre.

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