On Friday, the Drama department took Year 11s and Year 13s to workshops with Punchdrunk at their warehouse in Tottenham, North London. Punchdrunk performances are characterised by the audience wearing masks and experiencing performances by being amongst the actors on extraordinarily detailed sets placed in buildings on several floors often in close proximity to the action.
Punchdrunk are using the Tottenham site for practical research and development of new shows and experiences and since December they have been allowing small groups to experience their unique approach and techniques for creating performance. Our students went through bland office doors into the world of Fallowcross which is a constructed stage set of a village complete with church, school room, shops, bars and homes. This extraordinary set construction is placed in a huge warehouse with all internal walls in the void painted black so we felt as if we were beneath the night sky. Lights and sound systems, strategic use of dry ice, made it an extraordinary immersive experience as we played out scenarios developed through the building block of contact improvisation on the interactive set and all of us all became performers. It was a fantastic experience.