The actor as ‘object
There are two ways of starting this exercise: (a) The protagonist gets up on a table and stands at one edge. Eight actors stand in two lines facing each other, ready to catch him; they should have their arms extended, not rigid but slightly bent, interwoven but not touching, with palms upwards (NB all bangles, watches, or jewellery to be removed) and heads held slightly back. They need to be placed the relevant distance away, so that everything from the knees upwards will be supported when the protagonist lands. At a given signal, the protagonist lets himself fall backwards on to the waiting hands, which have to be ready to take the weight. (b) With suitable preparation and positioning of bodies, the actor runs and jumps on to the arms of eight actors, turning onto his back in mid-air. Before jumping, he shouts ‘Hup’ at the top of his voice. At his cry, the actors stretch out their arms, standing opposite one another, as above. In both cases, the actor stays stretched out on four pairs of joined hands; other actors can come to support the actor’s arms and feet. Communicating only by looks, without speech, the group can gently toss the protagonist up in the air, three times. They can lift him right up (all holding their arms stretched up in the air) and turn him over, three times. Then they can waft his body gently to the ground, taking care to bend their knees rather than arching their backs (safe lifting), lay him out on the ground and, on a visual cue, all start giving him an even massage at the same time, with both hands, moving to the right and left, in such a way that the protagonist’s whole body is touched with the same intensity – neither caress nor aggression. He can be rolled over on to his back and the same massage repeated. The actor at his head touches him around the head, ears, nose, neck, hair. During this exercise, the actors should make a sound as uniform as their massage, to relax the protagonist, to send him to sleep.