As part of my drama exam assessment, I had to take part in a performance along with a small group. Our performance was based around a script wrote by Jim Cartwright called ‘Two’. We was given an hour to improvise and create a final piece suitable to show an audience. To make our performance appropriate, we improvised with the props we had around us, to make our set come across as if the action took place in a local pub.
We had chance to practice our performance 4 times, each time evaluating and improving by adding on suitable ideas we discussed as a group, e.g. the entering order of the characters, advanced techniques, such as freeze framing. I found that every time we practised, I became more confident, as well as the rest of the group, and this definitely improved our performance, as we became better at improvising and interacting with each other. We also improved our performance by reconsidering the props we used, and by rearranging them, so they suitable for the audience, e.g., we moved the bar so it was in the centre, and the main focus point, where all the main conversation would take place, so it would be clear to the audience.
Jenna Sharp suggested we could end the scene, with a dilemma/ accident. I think this was a good idea as if a dilemma/accident was to happen it would definitely grip the audience’s attention, and make them wonder what was going to happen throughout the rest of the play, so it would leave them intrigued, which is always a contribute to a performance.
When we was deciding what characters we could act as, Brenna Prendergast suggested we could have a couple of football fans wondering in after a match, I think she thought this was a great way to add to the loud, chatty style of a pub. Although this had its advantages it also had its disadvantages. As a group we found that our performance became more authentic, as football fans usually do gather in pubs after a match. But it didn’t help with the noise level, as the noise increased significantly, and it became hard other characters. We resolved this with the football fans miming when important dialogue was being discussed.
I thought that we should allow the audience to understand what each character was thinking and how they was feeling at certain points throughout the play, so I came up with the technique to add thought tracking into parts of our scene. If I remember correctly, every character though tracked just before they got up to dance.
My characters thought track was ‘Oh God, what am I doing sat with this fella’ ? He looks broke. But then again he could have a million dollars tucked away somewhere, for me! Might ‘swell give it a try.’
Mime originates from ancient Greece. Mime is covered by working in silence, or with few sounds or words, to show activities. Traditionally a mime artist is portrayed as a sad character, which is either trying to climb a wall to brake free, or run from a chase, these performances are usually very short and simple. Mime artists are usually dressed in comical outfits, and have a white face painted on along with an upside down smile (Frown), this is a fairly obvious way to show a characters emotion.
Nowadays, mime artists have a far by more complex role to play. Furthermore, they often can be used as serious characters. Mime artists can now perform whole stories, through use of gestures, facial expressions, and body language. Also they were quite casual outfits, and do not have paints on there face. By blending a mime in to the rest of the characters, it’s far by more effective, as it causes the audience to really study the set and characters, to try figure out who is mend to be who, hence its not as obvious and it doesn’t change the mood (as traditionally a mime would come across as comical) of the play.
As a group, we used mime when our characters got up to dance, some of us made pulled happy expressions, e.g. a smile, a wink, tongue out etc. We also used gestures such as waving our hands about, rolling our heads around, jumping about. This was to show the audience our characters where dancing and having a good time. Others pulled totally opposite expressions, gritting there teeth, droopy eyes. Slow movement, lazy body language, etc. This showed the audience that these characters weren’t overly excited about getting up and dancing.
At the end of the forum theatre, we managed to put together quite a successful scene. There were definitely stronger parts throughout the scene, but overall I think as a group we did very well. If we could improve the scene in any way I would say, more time to rehearse because that would have allowed us time to expand on our ideas, hence it would have been an advantage. However in my opinion we managed time very well as we was able to brainstorm numerous ideas in such a short time.
I played the role of a flirty, gold-digging, married woman. I chose to play this role, as I thought it would liven up the atmosphere of the pub, and also add to the chatty style, which is quite authentic, as a pub is a quite laid back informal place. In the end performance, my character entered with her husband, and seconds later, unsurprisingly quickly wondered of to make conversation with other people in the pub. I thought this was a good way to make the performance seem more authentic, as usually in pubs, everyone interacts with each other. Furthermore, again I thought this would add to the atmosphere.
If I was going to where a costume to represent my character it would most likely be a low cut tight black top, red mini skirt with a pair of shiny black heels, finalised with an expensive handbag, and necklace, to show my character had expensive taste. Also my character would be wearing a wedding ring, which would symbolise she was married. This outfit would suggest to the audience that I was playing a very flirty character.