DRAMA GAMES: Jessica Swale.
NHB: Nick Hern Books.
RRP 8.99 gbp.
Review: Rod Dungate 24 April 2009
Simple, amazing, how do you live without it?.
(A link to the book follows the review.)
A truly amazing little book. Don’t let its size fool you; it’s packed full of good things.
Director Jessica Swale has compiled 101 exercises and warm-up games for drama sessions. Her instructions are clear and she outlines, not only how to do it, but what the point (or points) of each exercise is (are) too.
Whether you work with adults, tinies or those in between, buy this book and banish those awful moments when you know you know a game to use but just can’t think of it. It’ll be in here, or one very like it. Old friends are included, like Wink Murder and even Hot Seating. But there are a host of fresh delights too – 1, 2, 3 Washing Machine or Object Puppetry Challenge. There are exercises to warm up your voice, ones to work on characterisation, games for creating energy, games to wind down to.
The use of the book goes beyond warm-ups and ice-breaking though. It’s easy to see how these could be built into a rehearsal process to explore and free up; both devising and working on text.
Competitive games rub shoulders with whole group and small group exercises. It’s a real treasure trove. It couldn’t be easier to use, it’s to-the-point and no-nonsense. (Actually many of the games promote nonsense – which is the no-nonsense about it.)
Honestly, I’m sure you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. As for me – I’m off to try out the Penguin Race on my undergraduate student actors; it just sounds like too much fun to miss.
Here’s the Amazon Link