Wednesday, 18 November 2009

G-Fest at the Drill Hall

London's premier LGBT cross-arts festival, GFest is a platform for LGBT and queer artists, organisations and venues to promote LGBT and queer arts. Organised by arts charity Wise Thoughts, GFest features queer artists and talent across the arts, including visual arts, theatre, dance and performance, LGBT short films, debates, workshops and parties. I went along to sample one of the workshops on offer, which were hosted by the Drill Hall arts centre in Chenies Place.

The first event of the festival was a practical theatre workshop run by award winning theatre practitioner Barcy Cogdale. Barcy is also the founder and director of the Ruby Tuesday Theatre Company. The 2 hour event was centered around the theme of 'Identity' and had a very inclusive and friendly atmosphere facilitated by the bubbly nature of our workshop leader. Many fun exercises took place, including the dreaded but inevitable name game and ice breakers which reinvigorated the sleepiest of minds after a long day's work. Particpants were encouraged to use their own stories to help with developing ideas and improvisations around the theme and I was suprised at how open everyone was willing to be after only an hour or so together. It was a good opportunity to be inspired and really got the creative juices flowing.

The event was a great success and I think a great start to what I hope was a great festival. It seems that every section of society has their own month, season or festival at the moment, and when creating such events provides opportunities to meet with like minded artists, explore new themes, share ideas and have some fun, I say, long may that continue.

The Drill Hall also runs various classes in the performing arts throughout the year.

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