Drop in Drama and The Graft

Really good drama workshops happen in Newham at the Theatre Royal Stratford east. They cost a fiver and any more donations are welcome.Made up of theatre  professionals, teachers, social workers, youth leaders and interested others, the workshops created by Jan and Serena at TRSE explore facets of the theatre through drama techniques. Yesterday’s session was outstanding with Annie of Tangles Theatre who  led us through the ways into classical texts i e Shakespeare. Not bad for a fiver, eh? and typical of how Jan promotes theatre as an opportunity for all.

Read some reviews of “The Graft” playing at TRSE presently, after last night’s press night. Whoops, the reviewers I found were not impressed but hey! I was. I get what they say about the non-definition of characters and the missed opportunities: That’s why I said in my review which is as worthy as anyone’s that we should forget the socio-psychio analysing and take it all as an execrise in drama. Yes it is a bit “East Enders”. Corri is a bit Shakespeare.  Yes sordid criminal activities are brazenly highlighted and hardly gasped at. ‘S life. Read The Newham Recorder and weep. There are bits in the production which irritate with their cliche-ness, e.g the mother confessing on her knees. BUT it’s a play not a docu, not real life.

Can’t wait to see it again, myself, and to find more positives.. This is what keeps theatre alive and kicking butt in the east end. One reviewer rightly said that the lobby is always a buzz dahn at TRSE. That the audience is enthralled and excited. Now ain’t that just how Shakespeare and Marlowe and Soyinka wanted the common people to behave? The lobby is always alive and stinking, I mean stinking of curry goat  so bad that you can lick it off your cheeks. Yesterday the tension in the lobby was tangible as everyone was on guard what with Ms Press lurking. Upstairs the noisy Shakespeare text explorers were smashing what the white ruling class had ever told them about the mystery of Mr Shakespeare (” He smoked opium you know”) and how the plays were written just for the elite to understand. Thank goodness for TRSE which brings theatre to everyone with all its firebombs, slow-motion, fast motion, juxtaposed sets of action, fabulous use of language, facets of characters, revelations, an engagement with its audience, raw edges, polished rims…it’s all there.

Picked up a second-hand copy of Martina Cole’s “Maura’s Game” and there I have it..a signed copy no less.