Smokescreen is committed to producing educational impact theatre. The Mental Fitness themed ‘Shell Shock’ and Holocaust based ‘Mengele’ both aim to make the associated issues relevant and contemporary. 'Watson' is directly relevant to students of GCSE English studying Victorian Literature, Conan Doyle and The Sign of the Four.
Performances and workshops have been given at a number of leading schools including Scotch College in Adelaide, Cranbrook in Sydney and in the UK at Epsom, King Edwards, Lancing College, Worth, Hastings Academy, Cokethorpe and Eastbourne. Clear cross curricular links can be made with Drama, History, English, RS/Philosophy and Ethics, CCF, General Studies/Cultural Hour. Workshops, scripts and DVDs for further study are available on request.
MENTAL FITNESS & WELL BEING
The challenges facing pupils returning to school after Lockdown are well documented. Facing uncertainty in their learning as well as social relationships can be cause stress, anxiety and even trauma. To accompany Shell Shock workshops led by an experienced teacher, professional counsellor and Anxiety UK practitioner are available offering specific strategies and techniques for managing anxiety and to promote mental fitness and wellbeing.
Pupils will learn:
To engage appropriately in conversations about mental fitness
To articulate emotions and where to access support, help and guidance.
To action concerns about the wellbeing of others.
To find moments of quiet reflection and balance within every day life
To enjoy games and exercises with a positive focus on wellbeing.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND DIFFERENTIATION
Attitudes to race, gender and differentiation have been under the spotlight in recent times. A breakdown in the routines and structure of education and the uncertainty this engenders can exacerbate difference and accentuate fear of 'the other'. To accompany 'Mengele', workshops led by experienced teachers and practitioners offer historical context, covering who Josef Mengele was, as well as the rise of the Nazis and the Holocaust through to current expressions of racism and intolerance. Further exercises will highlight unconscious bias and promote improved sensitivity and behaviours.
Pupils will learn:
How to challenge racism and intolerance
To focus on what unites, not what divides
Appropriate language and vocabulary
Who to speak to and where to access help
Strategies and techniques to counter bullying
MENGELE Trailer HERE
All enquiries to:
"In Shell Shock we see a disturbed and disturbing character wrestle with profound mental health challenges. We are led sympathetically into the private and tortured world of a likeable and disintegrating character both educating us while evoking our compassion."
Dr John Newton, Headmaster, Scotch College, Adelaide
"An honest, witty and captivating show that completely draws you in and leaves you feeling humbled. This is a powerful piece of writing beautifully executed. Hard hitting and eye opening, Shell Shock is relatable on many levels and a must see... while raising awareness of trauma related conditions, 'Shell Shock' also reflects recent calls for changes in attitude to mental health across all walks of life."
"Important because it addresses a very modern problem… a glimpse into that world of confusion, doubt and dislocation. Whilst it is a fiction, perhaps for the young man next to you, it is a reality."
Colonel Tim Collins, Pinpoint
"A beautifully written and wonderfully executed one man show giving an eye-opening insight of life after the army, touching on so many things that we naively take for granted. A performance that everyone should see."
"Entertaining and powerful performance highlighting the difficulties, both actual and mental, experienced by a recently demobbed soldier, having spent 30 years serving queen and country. Tim Marriott’s portrayal of Tommy ranges through hope, joy, optimism, frustration, despair, fear, anger and peace. An utterly convincing performance."
"This is an excellent one man show. Based on a true story it is a heart-wrenching but also heart-warming tale that everybody should hear."
"Mengele is a confronting, spellbinding piece exploring the inner mind of one of history’s most notorious and cruel characters. The portrayal is powerful in its subtlety. The dominance of one character’s viewpoint takes us into the heart of one of our darkest times. Curiously engaging in its sinister insights, history comes alive for us." Dr John Newton, Headmaster, Scotch College, Adelaide
"Mengele is an absorbing, disquieting and beautifully acted piece. Over the course of an hour, the gentle probing of Azra lays bare Mengele's unremitting logic, reason and justification. Students of philosophy and religious studies will identify familiar concepts, thinkers and ethical theories and find themselves challenged by the lack of humanity inherent in the cold reason of unrestrained utilitarian thinking. Mengele's righteous, almost plausible justification begs personal reflection and response from the audience, proffering uncomfortable realisations about our shared human nature. While there is a certain reassurance at the close and release to be found in the dark humour, this is deeply thought-provoking piece, set to enthral and exhaust." Claire Ball, RS Dept, Eastbourne College
"A captivating play, pointed, and sometimes shocking, commenting on how his work and ideology were still relevant in the current global climate... Pupils will examine the performance and its cultural relevance in today's climate of holocaust denial. It was an incredibly thought-provoking experience." Epsom College
"The emotion and shock evoked by the actors led to a flurry of excited and interested questions and comments from the audience. These ranged from reactions to the unnerving treatment of the Holocaust, to intrigues about the long preparation process of writing and performing a play." King Edward's School