On Tuesday 14 November, multi-award winning theatre company The Paper Birds visited The Abbey to run a workshop with our Lower V, Upper V and Sixth Form drama students and perform their new play ‘In a Thousand Pieces’. Formed in 2003, The Paper Birds are a dynamic, all-female theatre company highly acclaimed for fusing physical theatre with verbatim/documentary techniques. Emphasis is on creating work that is culturally, socially and politically significant and particular focus is given to the stories and voices of women. Our girls said the following of the afternoon:
To begin, we started with the prompt of choral movement. We mirrored one another with our movements and soon came together as one to create a fluid piece of improvisation. To build on this skill, we broke off into groups to create 10 choral movements, which were soon to tell a story. Throughout the afternoon, we gained experience in the skills of group work, improvisation, verbatim theatre and use of our bodies to create theatre.
Isabelle, Lower VI
‘In a Thousand Pieces’ performance
The play revolved around the inherently challenging topics of human trafficking and abuse. Made up of just a small cast of three, the actors were able to convey the complex emotional intensity of the character and, despite the minimal set, created an airport, BMW and a dark room using only their bodies and a suitcase for a prop. The play followed the life of a Romanian woman who had travelled to Britain in search of better life only to find her world transformed into one of unfathomable pain, trauma and suffering, her hopes and ambitions ripped away in an inhuman fashion. The play was incredibly poignant and captivating; we found ourselves drawn in by the intense emotional delivery of the actors as they fully commitment to the true story they were telling. Through their inventive story-telling, Paper Birds have created a thought-provoking and well-executed piece of theatre.
Francesca, Lower VIBack to newsroom