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Almost Human Essay Sample

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Almost Human Essay Sample

The main idea of the play is that monkeys are almost human. The play presents the idea of people who love animals, but these characters feel that killing and hurting animals is acceptable – so are shown to be hypocritical.

Plot

The play tells the story of a monkey. He is in the jungle and is about to be shot. He is saved by a woman of the circus, who names the monkey Tarzan. She trains him to do the tricks, but ends up beating him to do the stunts. At a show, the trainer pushes Tarzan too far, and he falls and hurts his leg. He is unable to do shows now, so the Zoo buys him. At the zoo, he is supposed to mate, but he scares the customers. Tarzan is then bought by an animal acting company. His first job is for an advert. Each take, he does something wrong, and eventually scares the actress and causes a fight. He is then sold to a laboratory, where he is tested on. One of the scientists feels guilty, and ends his life.

Structure

In my opinion, I don’t think the play builds to a big climax, but you can tell that the monkey is going to die at the end. I think the segues were well done, and the variety of scenes worked well for the storyline. The most memorable scene for me was when Tarzan was tested on. It was very dramatic and distressing, and the audience sympathise with Tarzan.

Characterisation

I thought some of the characters were convincing, but a few were too unrealistic. At the zoo, the characters were very convincing and you could relate to the situation. Whereas, the characters stating how much they like animals were really patronising and over the top, which makes them unbelievable.

I think the actors worked well together, and as the audience, they appeared to make a good team. The roles played worked well together.

Staging

The staging is very affective because it can be used in many different ways for the scenes. The stage was very useful in the play as it didn’t take up much space and the actors could move easily around it. Also, it didn’t draw attention away from the actors. I didn’t think the staging added anything to the atmosphere, but did help you imagine the story better. When the monkey was being tested on, the stage is used as the table on which the monkey is tested on. The audience are drawn to the actors because the space is very open and non-restricting.

Costume

As the storyline is set in modern-day time, I think the costume worked well. The costume enhanced the images the audience had of characters, even though it was minimal i.e. the doctors in white coats.

Technical

There was no lighting for the performance. I thought that this was good because it doesn’t make the play to unrealistic and therefore more believable.

The play’s segues are very good as you can’t focus on the changing of scenes, and don’t notice any blips.

The special effects used are sound effects. When the monkey is doing the advertisement, a jingle is played. Also, when changing scenes and we see the monkey playing in the jungle, jungle music is played.

The only music played is the jungle music. This helps create a clearer image of the jungle, and is therefore effective.

Evaluation

In my opinion, I didn’t really like the play. I thought the basic idea of the storyline was good, but I didn’t like the style of acting. I found it very patronising, and think it’s more suitable for a younger audience.

One very good thing about the play was that it really showed how hypocritical humans can be! It clearly showed “stereotypical” characters: the characters kept saying how much they loved animals, but then saying that they think eating and hurting them is fine! I thought that was really good how that was portrayed and I think it got people thinking.

I think the simplicity of the play was very good so the audience could clearly understand the points being made, and it also had a fun storyline, so that made it easier to follow.

The play affected me in that it backed up my beliefs – I’m a Vegetarian and an Animal Rights Protester. Also, afterwards, many of my friends could understand my opinion easier, and others said they were sorry for taking the pee out of my beliefs!!! I thought that was one of the best things about it!

I don’t think the company created a particular “world” on stage because I couldn’t see how it was modern day, or what era it was in. I think the ideas were good, but I thought of it as made up, not as real life.

I wasn’t sure what the Director’s objective was, but many points were made in the play. I think he was trying to show how similar humans are to apes and that because of that, we shouldn’t mistreat them.

I thought the production was quite successful, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I think the main ideas were good, but I think they only just pulled it off! The many ideas all rolled into one play was good, but made it hard to believe.

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