I love this book and I have been passionately recommending it to my drama-teaching friends for many years. After my friends and colleagues have read it, they always agree that it is amazing! This book lists drama games in a well-written, easy-to-read and digestible format. However, best of all, the majority of Jessica Swale’s games have depth to them and teach something about acting; they tend not to be games just for the sake of being games. Only the very best games and acting exercises have been selected for this book. Jessica’s exercises have been extremely effective in the drama classes I teach.
The book is divided into eleven parts: Warm-Up, Familiarity, Energy, Focus, Teamwork, Trust, Character, Storytelling, Imagination, Improvisation and Cool-Down. Each section is as deeply satisfying as the last. Personally, I’m a particular fan of the Storytelling section.
Jessica has written other drama books including Drama Games for Devising and Drama Games for Rehearsing but if you only want to buy one, Drama Games for Classrooms and Workshops is the one I’d recommend.
I researched the author recently and it was of little surprise to me that she has written a play for Shakespeare’s Globe entitled Nell Gwynn which has had rave reviews and is currently being transferred to the West End with Gemma Arterton starring in the lead role. Reading her handy little pocket guide Drama Games for Classrooms and Workshops, it became obvious that the author is one smart cookie. When it comes to drama, Jessica Swale knows her stuff. There is no other book on drama teaching on the market that comes close to the high standard of this one.