Thursday, 23 June 2016

Former 1623 trainee Darius Cranston shares his thoughts on joining us recently for a weekly work placement from Derby College.

Darius prepares booklets for the upcoming Shakespeare NightDuring my time with the 1623 Shakespeare Company I have had many amazing opportunities with both Ben Spiller [1623 artistic director] and Shane Lynch [1623 participation coordinator] who have both helped me develop my acting, developing and people skills. This is due to all the amazing things I have had the chance to participate in with this amazing theatre company. Things such as Richard III at Bosworth Battlefield, Work in the office on proof-reading, writing and labelling of work, writing and developing scripts with 1623 and Steps To The Future, and last but by no means least, managing to get insights into some of Shakespeare’s plays with ideas I had not previously thought about through workshops such as the Shakespeare Night on Hamlet at Derby Theatre.

Darius with 1623 participation coordinator Shane Lynch in the officeBosworth Battlefield - whilst with 1623, I was lucky enough to attend a Bosworth Battlefield training day with 1623 and Lost Boys theatre company. We gave Leicester University students an introduction to Richard III via spoken and physical theatre of some of the battles from the play. Through this, I learned a great deal of techniques and ideas which have really furthered my understanding of the play and also given me ideas on what to do in future performances with similar themes and ideas and written speech. Ben showed me how to present the characters very thoroughly and well via analysis of the text and through movement. This was very useful for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip as I found it very useful and coincided well with the other areas of the things I was lucky enough to experience with 1623 such as Shakespeare Night and Hamlet.

Shakespeare Night - Derby Theatre - Hamlet - At this workshop, we studied a couple of sections from the play Hamlet. Here we all got to have our own say and share our own interpretations of the piece which provided some new insight for me into ideas I may not have had by myself for the characters we looked at. This was highly useful as it meant I could further my knowledge of the specific characters and open up for new interpretations of new ideas I had not previously acknowledged or thought of. These additional personal developments coincided well with the skills I developed during my time based in the office developing a script for Steps for the Future.

Steps for the FutureSteps for the Future - During the time I spent in the 1623 office at QUAD, I was tasked with developing a Shakespearean style script based around the ideas provided from Steps for the Future, a performing arts academy for adults with learning differences. I ended up using scenes from Much Ado About Nothing where Beatrice and Benedick come to the realisation they love each other and get married after feuding and then being tricked into loving each other. I then took this to Steps for the Future who read and discussed it before Shane and the group changed and developed it. The play was performed on Saturday16 June at Deda, where Steps performed it as part of a showcase of singing, dancing and acting. This task gave me a massive insight into the behind the scenes work of 1623 and developed my creativity for writing which has been of great use and I also managed to learn how to do basic office work with 1623 such as proof-reading and spell-checking.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my work experience with 1623 and have met some amazing people and learned some very valuable skills for the work place and for life. I look forward to working with 1623 in (hopefully) the not too distant future.


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