We have been exploring how unwanted and orphaned children were forcibly evacuated after the second world war to Australia, made to forget their previous lives and roots and then how some, as adults, rediscovered their past lives by contacting Margret Humphries through an advertisement placed in a newspaper. From the topic I learnt to do another drama form, abstract images, when we showed what the children thought of Australia when they got there and what the people who received them thought.
Also, that, many people (children) these days take their parents for granted but in those times they would have know what it would have felt like. During this theme my most successful pieces were when we did a whole class in role but in pairs when the horrible woman took us away at the orphanage in Australia, when I persuaded a mother to send her son off to Australia without consulting him; this especially was really good because I looked professional because I went in her house with a file and introduced ourselves and in the end I got her to sign a contract.
Another was when I was the adult now who had been brought to Australia in the late fifties and now was looking for his family via an orphan searching society. It was good because we asked a lot of questions to each other about how and what had happened to find out my past in the present. One of the roles I really liked was of a horrible orphanage keeper with a whip and I slashed it across the room saying ‘I’ll whip them hard just like the others’ which was a monologue of spoken thoughts in a group.
We showed this by lots of body language, because I was the hard one I stood still and stiff, tall and broad to show my power. Lastly I will talk about a piece when the person had started work in a company and their colleagues kept asking questions about his life and family. What we found difficult was how to introduce the subject of this conversation and we soon resolved it by saying that he had a day off the previous day and we asked why he was out and he replies that it was a religious occasion and I advance saying his family must be great and forcefully asked him to tell me more.