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Wilson. Storytelling. Workshop.

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  • The aim of the workshop is to allow a group of students to create and have ownership of a creative performance. The play has been developed using a number of drama conventions. I would like to thank all the students who took part in the development of this scheme. I hope you enjoy making as much as we did
  • Stuck-in-the-mud
  • Dodge Ball


  • Winning the cup (5)
  • Finding Gold (3)
  • Holiday postcard (4)
  • Essence machine (6)
essence machine
Essence Machine
  • When we work we have a tendency to create workshops using an episodic structure. In laymen's terms not in the right order. We do this to hold the dynamic and pace of the workshop together. We session will start with the essence machine and will develop into the scene of Wilson remembering moments in his life. Moving on the session with Wilson leaving and the door speaking will then be developed. Finally we will put these three sessions together and then record the groups.
  • The second session will look at the relationship with Wilson’s grandfather. The scene will go back in time and the actor playing the main protagonist will change. This scene will be intercut with scenes of Wilson being a child and going to school for the first time. Moving on we will see the reasons why he has been bulled using a Brecht technique, the audience will see the outcome first and will stay objective rather than becoming to emotionally attached.
  • The play moves on to the scene between the grandfather and Wilson and we see him buying the phone and the reasons why he chose the cheapest.
  • The scene changes and Wilson changes and a new character enters the story. The next part tells the tale of the invasion of aliens and how Wilson built the robots to create a new ship to take a few members of the human race to a new planet.
  • Finally we need to make sure we now record all the scenes and the children playing certain parts.
essence machine2
Essence Machine


  • Create the cityscape
  • The picture should have different levels
  • The picture should have depth
  • Each person should make a sound of the city
  • Each person puts a physical action to the sound
  • The group then put the whole thing together to create an essence machine




Acid Rain

People Arguing

Aircraft flying overhead

Radio Playing


Playing conkers in the street

Riding a bike

Smashing a window with my football

Hitting the winning run

Flying down the road on a go cart we made from an old pram

Flying a kite into a beautiful blue sky

Throwing snow balls at your best friend

pair share
Pair Share

Freeze picture at the end

Freeze picture at the beginning

  • Progress fill
  • Slow motion
  • Narration
  • I pad massive
  • Editing to 10 words between
  • Fast forward
  • Repeat
  • Mime
  • Lasts 30 SECONDS

Decide on your opening line

Cliff hanger ( final line)


Working with a partner and create a door together

As Wilson goes through the door remember to say your text clearly

Are you going to say the lines at the same time or together

“I remember seeing my daughter leaving for University and when she drove off we both cried”.

“I remember seeing Mr Wilson bringing his beautiful daughter home from hospital for the first time. He was so proud that day”.

“I remember him carrying his wife over the threshold. they were so happy that day”

“I remember seeing his son taking the puppy out in the snow on Christmas morning. The joy on his face”

“I remember Lucy his wife throwing the flowers through the front door. She was so angry with him”

“I remember when he lost his Lucy. He was never the same. The whole house was never the same”



Wilson leaves his home and gives keys to the estate agent remembers (pair share)

“I remember playing football on the road”. (As Wilson moves along the line the pairs come to life.)

Door sets up Wilson goes through each door each one saying their memories of Wilson.

(The pairs move to the outside edge of the space facing the audience. Wilson walks through the door and the pairs speak their lines.)

On the journey here’s the noises of the city then arrives at the old people’s home greeted by the support staff then falls asleep in chair

(A slight change here as we will create larger groups and go to the two ends of the space.) Wilson will walk along to both ends of the space and Geoff will narrate what he sees. Wilson will click his fingers and bring the essence machines to life

arrival at the home
Arrival at the Home
  • Wilson arrived at the home and his two support workers welcome him. As he sat down he felt happy again. (The whole group could stand behind the chair and create a soundscape of the home)
  • Transition and music the two characters change in the blackout.
In the darkness we have the transition between the two characters. As the lights come up Thomas has taken over and continues the story. The groups are in four groups ready for the transitions. Thomas can go around and bring the images to life by clicking his fingers.
  • Saying goodbye at the school gates
  • Feeling lonely on your first day
  • Being sent out by your teacher
  • Eating pack lunch by the tree
  • (the picture snaps into life. The group work at opposite ends of the space
  • (As Thomas finishes talking the group change into smaller groups ready for the mobile phone scene)
  • “In those days everyone had a new pair of shoes or a new bike. In today’s world that would be like going to school without a mobile phone. As it’s theatre I’ll go back in time but contemporise the story. By the power of theatre….”
  • (The group move into four groups and work on their sequences)

The group needs to work in six groups of five

Each group create an opening freeze picture. This should show them all waiting for Wilson in the playground. The picture should have different levels and depth to the image

Each person in the group should be able to ask Wilson a question. They all know that he’s not got a phone and say their questions in a silly manner. The sequence should end on a strong freeze and their last line is said all together

Thomas as Wilson will improvise with each group. As each group finishes they will freeze and sit down. However before the last improvisation he will throw his bag onto the ground and tell the audience that the final group was the straw that broke the camels back. He will also say to the audience that after this scene he will show the audience why he didn’t have a mobile phone. Thomas then rewinds and shows the scene between the final group and throws his bag down and storms out.

As Thomas leaves the space he freezes and a piece of music plays and the scene fades to blackout


The lights come back on and Thomas is in a freeze position. One of the group come on and introduce the scene. Two weeks before at the allotment. The smell of onions is in the air. “Hi Granddad how are you today?” The scene comes to life and Wilson repeats the line

Scene Structure

Granddad has been thinking

Wilson is reluctant to talk about school

Granddad gets the jar off the shelf and takes out the money

Wilson wont except

Granddad insists and tells him to go and get a mobile phone

Wilson says goodbye to his Granddad and as he walks away the lighting changes and Wilson freezes.

Geoff Narrates that Wilson left his Granddad and the next day he went to the phone shop. Each pair will stand up and Wilson improvisers the scene

Wilson asks how much the most expensive phone is. The shopkeeper shows a number

Wilson then asks what is the cheapest and again he shows him a few, but tries to put him off

Wilson buys the cheapest phone (Wilson freezes and the lights fade)


Back at the allotment

Wilson returns to his granddad

Granddad asks how he got on

Wilson gets out the mobile phone

Granddad not knowing assumes its really expensive

Wilson goes to leave and then freezes

Narration: “I know what your thinking…you think that Wilson took the money that day but he knew his granddad struggled to make ends meet. He knew that he needed medication for a number of ailments. He didn’t pocket the money that day. He just needed time as to how he would be able to give the money back without making his granddad cry. His granddad was a very kind and sensitive man.

Wilson turns and the scene continues and he tells his granddad and his granddad looks at him and says ;” that his mother would have been proud of him



The character of Wilson is now in transition. Cameron enters the space and takes off the hat and coat and becomes Wilson. He then explains to the audience that he wants to return to the moment when he decides to runaway from the bullying. I know I told you that I threw the bag down and ran through the gates. Well that’s not strictly true. As I stood their the whole of the playground began to chant my name… quietly at first and then louder than bombs. At the end they were chanting my name… and I held my head in my hands. The chanting stopped. It was night and I don’t know how but the bullies had gone. I was outside my garage. I was home with my friends

As I opened the garage door my friends came to life. Cameron producers his monologue. The group create the robots and move around the space. They then brake into four groups and create four different robots


Creating the Robots:

  • In groups of 7
  • Create one of the following
  • Grabber machine robot
  • DVD Player machine robot
  • Washing Machine robot
  • Food processor robot
  • The robot must be able to speak and must be able to work and interact with Wilson

Wilson plot overview

  • . Wilson leaves his home and gives keys to the estate agent remembers (pair share)
  • . Door sets up Wilson goes through each door each one saying their memories of Wilson
  • . On the journey here’s the noises of the city then arrives at the old people’s home greeted by the support staff then falls asleep in chair
  • . Change of Wilsons during blackout. Wilson remembers first day at school. Freeze-frames ‘being left at the school gate’, ‘being alone in the playground’ and ‘sent out by my teacher’
  • . ’Everyone had these phones’ gets bullied for not having a phone ‘children circle Wilson chanting’ then the moment he throws his rucksack on the floor.
  • .flash back shows his granddad giving him the money for the phone goes to phone shop but buys cheapest phone. Goes back to his granddad and emails his friend explaining he has new phone.
  • . Goes to school gets bullied by groups for his phone at the end throws rucksack and runs away to his garage.
  • . in garage shows robots creating ‘a washing machine’ ‘big friendship robot’ ‘grabber machine’ and ‘big toy train’ at the end goes back to his older self with the support staff but the robots are still there. They send Wilson to bed ‘the robots will still be there in the morning’.