Nick Hern Books
Jessica Swale follows up her popular first collection of drama games with a second volume that will be of use to anybody embarking on devising their own performance piece. Drama Games for Devising contains over 50 practical games and exercises broken down into five sections: preparation, generation, exploration, distillation and presentation. These are games that will get your company having fun, working together and finding ways to shape their work.
I was pleased to find several games that have been mainstays of my own devised work with Tiebreak Theatre – and variations of these - as well as new ones. It just goes to show that many of the best games get passed around by actors and directors as they move from company to company. Swale adds into the mix many original activities as well as examples and influences from modern and contemporary directors. Her introduction shows how three different directors and companies devise their work (Max Stafford-Clark, Mike Leigh and Shunt) and further practical examples are given throughout.
This book is a brilliant collection of starting points and structures that can be used as they are (again and again), although inevitably they are bound to spark you off into new processes and directions of your own.