Within today’s session we were given a tour of Ham House! I was extremely excited for this and enjoyed it very much; however as ignorant as this may sound I wasn’t as impressed by the house as I thought I would be.
Since I was a child I have grown up visiting various National Trust Houses all over England and Wales, for some reason I felt that Ham House considering its history, it would have been bigger and grander. I felt I should have been more in awe of it, except I wasn’t. If I am honest the House scared me slightly, I found it to be very eerie, quiet, dark and cold. I didn’t feel very comfortable and didn’t want to stay too long in one place there.
The main room that made me feel uneasy the most was the long room used for “exercise” it was covered in dark wooden panelling and even though the light had been shut out the room seemed like it would be very dark and cold in there in general. The paintings on the wall were slightly odd too. There were various paintings of both the children of the house and of people that the family knew. To me it felt like I was looking at their modern day version of “facebook” and of who they know and who their acquaintances are.
When we saw the servants’ quarters I was taken aback by how small the area was that these people had to live in. It felt slightly sad that these people lived a life like that. The area we were shown where we could perform in were used by the servants themselves, so again these rooms were not grand at all, and slightly small.
The kitchen is one of the performance spaces we have been given, and this space I feel will provide countless ideas and starting points. We could either use this space for a periodic story or a story just based in a kitchen.
One of the other performance spaces we have been given used to be a bathroom. This space in particular I feel would be brilliant for different uses. The room reminded me of the bookshop in the film “you’ve got mail” and that instantly made me think of magical things and costumes and most importantly CHRISTMAS!!!!!
After the tour, Mark gave us a pack of proposals that we have received so far for upcoming projects. One that did interest me was the idea of Reminiscence Theatre, and working in private residential homes for the elderly, this would involve taking their story and making it into a performance and playing it back to them to see their response.
A project which I would really, really love to do would be to work in a prison, as I have mentioned before, or to work with young offenders, I have discussed this with Mark and hopefully, the idea will progress somewhere…which again would be extremely exciting!!