‘In comes I!‘
The words with which a character in a traditional play often introduces himself are bold, brash and to the point. The plays themselves are short, simple, humorous and often in rhyme, and there are versions from all over England. The theme is often of combat, death and coming to life again, and some have a bit of romance thrown in. There are familiar characters, like St. George or Robin Hood, alongside the like of Bold Slasher or the Black Prince of Paradine. There are the strange animals, the Hooden Horse and the Derby Tup among them, who feature in their own small pieces of drama. The plays are often performed at a certain time of the year and their actors have colective names such as Mummers, Tipteerers, Plough Jags, Pace Eggers or Hoodeners.
All this adds up to a wealth of enjoyment in both spectating and performing.
All TRADS tutors themselves take part in a variety of traditional plays throughout the year and are constantly researching to find new characters and traditions. We teach the plays to all ages and we also use the format of the plays as a base for new work, both for performance and in a workshop situation.
The title ‘In Comes I!’ covers all the workshops that we do that are based on English traditional drama. These include:
- An introduction to English traditional drama in which participants can take part in a number of plays
- Working up a single play for performance over several sessions; plus making kits and props
- A series of workshops in which participants are first introduced to a number of plays and are then encouraged to write their own and work it up to a performance, including making kits and props
Along the way, participants learn of the part the plays have in geography and season, why they were originally performed, when, where and by whom. We teach the songs, music or dance that accompany the performances. We introduce the plays as a living tradition that is constantly changing and being adapted with new characters and situations.
The workshops, in all their forms, can be adapted for
- KS2 and 3
- After school drama clubs or holiday clubs
- Adult or youth drama groups
- Adult education settings
- Adult groups for those with special needs
- Adult groups for those with disabilities