1998 to 1999 Chalk Circle

For the first piece of drama we chose a problem play by Brecht, as this style allowed for the theatrical elements to be portrayed using movement and improvisation rather than text. We discovered early on that this was one of the great strengths of the company.

This was performed first to our friends in Burnham and then we were invited to take the play to day centres in Maidenhead and Chesham. We devised workshops for the people at the centres so that they were able to join in with the plays too.

Chalk Circle is the story of a royal child that is caught up in a political coup. A maid saves the child from the soldiers, and they escape the city. Grusha the maid brings up the child by herself with great difficulty, losing her soldier lover because he thinks that it is her child, Grusha says this to protect the royal child from the soldiers, but loses her lover as a result. Years later the child's mother asks for her child back. We ask the audience to judge who the true "mother" of the child is, the maid or the mother.

A judge asks for the child to be placed in a chalk circle on the floor, he asks the mother and the maid to each pull one arm of the child until it is pulled out of the circle. The ruling goes to the woman who doesn't pull, as she doesn't want to hurt the child.