The Regent’s School Pattaya recently had some very special visitors: the wonderful Performance Exchange Theatre Company. They gave an excellent theatre workshop on the background and practice of Kabuki Theatre followed, in the afternoon, by a spellbinding performance of The Return of Sherlock Holmes to Years 7-9 students and the older students studying Drama.
A packed Globe Theatre had the privilege of experiencing a performance from Daniel Foley, an actor and director, and the other actors in the Performance Exchange Company, Nigel Mills-Thomas and his son Dan in ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’. The Regent’s School Pattaya were pleased to share their theatre with two local schools – Garden International School and St Andrew’s – that made up a large and appreciative audience.
Got, Yulia and Pam enjoy the workshop.
Daniel Foley led a morning workshop on Japanese Kabuki to the Year 13 IB Theatre class. They began with a focused warm-up which included careful stretching and balancing exercises. He encouraged them to focus on the quality of their movement through a series of slow-motion gestures and stylized walking.
Foley shared the historical background of Kabuki theatre with the students, including information on costuming and make-up. Focusing on an excerpt from one of the Kabuki plays, they were given a short piece of dialogue to learn which they had to match to the precise Kabuki movement. The students added facial expressions to really try to penetrate to the emotional heart and meaning of the play which centered on a man experiencing a spiritual journey and a cleansing of his soul, with a performance from the students after. Feeling like they had been on individual journeys of their own, The Regent’s School Pattaya’s students really benefited from the enjoyable and stimulating session.
The play housed in the Globe Theatre began with Dr Watson, played by Daniel, remembering his friend and mentor, the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street London and his eventual probable death at the hands of his arch-enemy the fiendish Professor James Moriarty at the Reichenback Falls in Switzerland.
However, Holmes did not die; he returns in disguise, much to the amazement of his old-friend Holmes and the audience! The play showed Holmes telling of his adventures since his supposed death and his quest to solve further unsolved mysteries. The play really captured the attention of the audience: despite little in the way of scenery and costumes, the actors were able to capture the essence of their characters and the different locations shown in the play. Their use of timing, stillness, silence and vocal projection were all excellent in a performance which was at times genuinely creepy and even funny in bizarre ways.
The actors rounded off their successful visit to the school by answering questions where the audience could explore their drama-based backgrounds. Daniel Foley has had extensive drama training and appeared in more than 200 stage productions and Nigel Mills-Thomas has played parts in many drama and TV productions including episodes of Grange Hill and even the highly acclaimed Dr Who.
Performance Exchange Theatre Company actors Daniel Foley, Nigel Mills-Thomas and son Max answer students’ questions following their performance.