Having seen Frantic Assembly’s ‘Lovesong’ last year for DRAM 1, our group decided it would be interesting to do our devised piece in the style of physical theatre. We have seen a live production of ‘Lovesong’ by Abi Morgan performed through the company of Frantic Assembly and within the play, there were elements of having naturalistic set on stage, however using it in an un-naturalistic way, other features consisted of interpretive dance throughout the piece to convey emotions of the characters. Through further research of the style, we found that physical theatre goes beyond verbal narrative, incorporating physical and visual elements on a level at least equal to verbal elements, it is more than simply abstract movement – it includes some element of character, narrative, relationships, and interaction between the performers, not necessarily linear or obvious. It also includes a wide variety of styles, approaches, aesthetics – can include dance-theatre, movement theatre, clown, puppetry, mime, mask, vaudeville, and circus. Physical theatre allows for a dynamic and exciting delivery style while remaining honest to their social objectives.
The style provides a way of using both the mind and the body. It encourages questioning and debate to promote understanding. The abstract imagery is left unto the audience to interpret however it should also be highly suggestive to show a strong storyline through the play. We have also seen a filmed version of ‘Lovesong’ to refresh our memories of the play. Our research also consists of watching numerous videos on the internet to further enhance our knowledge of the style we are performing in. ‘There is a strand of theatre – the physical and the visual – that speaks a completely different language from the traditional well made play and spans theatre, puppetry, dance and visual arts.’ Lyn Gardner – The Guardian. As a group, we were inspired by the book ‘room’ which is about a mother and son locked in a room and the issues dealt with imprisonment.
The idea of being restricted in one space was very intriguing to the whole group and we decided to creatively adapt the idea into our devised drama piece. We came to this decision as we wanted to use the language of gesture to show how staying in a room for a long time can affect a person mentally and emotionally. Using movement as a way to convey inner feelings to an audience is our initial motive. Therefore, to fulfil our roles for the piece, we had to do research into the topic, such as reading the book ‘room’ itself and taking elements from it to help our representation of a human’s psychological problems of being imprisoned for that long in just a room. We also sourced information from the internet such as comments on the book and the idea, also researching heavily into the Fritzl case from where the author of ‘Room’, Emma Donoghue was inspired to write it.
Other research included looking into more cases like the Fritzl case such as Natascha Kampusch’s case, Alvarez case, Sheffield incest case and investigating into these cases helped us to get more insight to the conditions that the impisoners had to live in and the effect they have had since they escaped. For example, we also looked at interviews of these people and how they reacted to the questions being asked, their behaviour towards talking about the situation and have tried incorporating that into our devising piece. Our intended audience reactions consist of them being shocked and disturbed by seeing such an outright topic being discussed in this way. We want to bring awareness to such atrocious events happening in real life. Another dramatic aim of ours is to show the dynamic of the relationship between the two sisters that are imprisoned in our piece and how staying together for so long and suddenly being free has an effect on their relationship.