FOBISIA KS3 Drama trip to Kuala Lumpur

On Tuesday 27th February, Miss Claire Cockle, Mr. Suyog Sotang and 18 KS3 students headed to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia, for the FOBISIA Drama festival that was to be held at Garden International School (GIS).

On the first full day, students were given a cultural day in which they explored KL. They visited various sights from the ground and from the sky including the Royal palace, the National Mosque of Malaysia, Merdeka Square, and the city gallery. This was all before heading up the KL Tower, where students gained a 360-degree view of the city from the sky deck at 421 metres above ground level. With the adrenaline pumping, we decided it was time to change pace and relax with a couple of hours in the pool. This was followed by the evening activities which consisted of staff and students heading to GIS for a welcome dinner, a tour of the school and ice breaker activities. Here, approximately 200 students from all 12 schools interacted with each other, played some games and worked with their bodies and voices to create silly items such as working electric toothbrushes.

The second, third and fourth days were lots of fun too, but also lots of hard work. Students were given acting workshops in a variety of different styles and used the various ideas of different theatre practitioners; from Brecht to Stanislavski, Artaud and Growtowski. When they were not in acting workshops, they were developing a performance in a group that revolved around a specific literary character. There were 10 groups, and each group had to decide whether their character that they were studying should be presented as a hero or a villain. Once this decision was made, the task was to devise a 5-10 minute performance that only used the lines in the play that were either spoken by that character, or spoken about the character. A fabulously challenging task that was completed in about 6 hours, across the various days. To help the matter, we went to the cinema on the second evening to watch "The Greatest Showman" who is another character who could be seen in different contexts depending on what perspective you view him from.

Students, during the festival, were also able to watch a variety of performances from professional actors. The first was from a U.K company called the "Handlebards," who perform Shakespeare in a comical way with only 4 actors multi-rolling the various characters. In this instance, they performed a hilarious presentation of "As you like it," and many students used ideas into their character piece. Students were also able to watch extract performances from other professional actors from the "KL Shakespeare players" who performed scenes from "Othello," and also the "Actors Studio (Malaysia)" who presented a scene from "Thunderstorm" written by Chinese Playwright Tsao Yu's.

It was not just acting that students were asked to focus on during the festival, but also their expression that they convey through their bodies. To consider the idea of genre and movement, students undertook two dance workshops in which they learnt choreography. They also took great pride in showcasing their moves during the Disco on the Friday night.

On the Saturday, rehearsal time was given in the morning, and then it was time for the spectacularly diverse range of performances created by students. Some performances were in the various Drama facilities that GIS have, others were site-specific and were performed in places such as the Eco-Garden; however, the majority were situated in the Grand Hall. Each performance was unique and allowed students to witness a wide range of techniques, different acting styles as well as the opportunity to perform to an audience of around 300 people.

With the performances complete and goodbyes to the various schools said, it was time for TBS students to head to the shopping mall, and afterwards pack all their belongings before returning to Kathmandu on Sunday. 

It was a fantastic trip, the first time we have ever participated in a FOBISIA Drama Festival and we look forward to similar events in the future!