An Afternoon of Comedy and Learning

Visual & Performing Arts

On Thursday 20 October, our Performing Arts students were visited by the Sleeping Trees, a multi-award winning comedy trio, who hosted a performance and workshop. This was a fantastic opportunity for our students, teaching them about characterisation techniques.

The Sleeping Trees performed their own version of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. It was a fast-paced and unique take on the well-known story, featuring pop culture references and some rather dark humour with themes including amputation, murder-suicide and war. There was even audience participation, with students able to join in with the on-stage antics, throwing sweets at the ‘Candyman’ and setting off party poppers.

The Sleeping Trees, made up of Joshua George Smith, John Woodburn and James Dunnell-Smith, quickly switched between characters, using body language and accents to differentiate and entertain. The strong characterisation then inspired our students to have a go themselves, with 40 of them staying behind to take part in an exclusive workshop.

Working in groups, the students were taught how to embody a character and really embrace their personality in order to make it believable. They had to write down memories from their childhood and then work together to bring them to life.

Two students will also be given the chance to spend a day work-shadowing the Sleeping Trees at their studio in London and the lucky pair will be chosen over the next half term by Kate Matthews, Learning Area Manager for Performing Arts.

It was a fantastic opportunity for our Performing Arts students and we can’t wait to have more activities like this in the future.