In a Children’s Home Essay Sample

In a Children’s Home Pages
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Our initial ideas were to set the play in a children’s home this was changed, we decided it should be about a character who had lived in a children’s home or a troubled teen we went for the first option. Our play had many scenes, in the first scene you find out about the tragedy that you were going to see and how the main characters friend, Zo was feeling guilty for the events that took place. The next seen informs you of the relationship between the main character Jackie and her mother Mrs Green, thought tracking is used in this scene (flashback was used here). In the third scene you find out a bit more about their relationship and Jackie leaves home. In the fourth scene Jackie is gathering her thoughts. In the fifth scene Zo says that she should have let Jackie sort out her own problems (flashback was used here). In the next scene Jackie and Zo meet up and Zo takes Jackie back to her squat.

In the seventh scene Zo takes Jackie out escorting (prostitution) with her. The following morning Jackie returns with lots of clothes and other shopping along with a lot of money, they then take drugs. Then Zo says that she shouldn’t have got Jackie into escorting or drugs (cannabis) and it got worse from there. In the ninth scene they take more dangerous drugs (ecstasy) and Zo goes out. Then when Zo returns Jackie has passed out, Jackie still not completely composed goes out to meet a punter (flashback was used here). In the eleventh scene Zo says she shouldn’t have let her go and it was a new client. Then when Jackie returns, Zo is asleep, Jackie is distraught and decides the only way out is to kill herself. Then you have a black out and Jackie is lying on the floor half dead, Zo awakes to find her Jackie blames her and dies. The play includes many scene changes and this has caused problems, also the costume changes between characters have caused me some concern.

My character Mrs Green is about 36 she had Jackie at about 18. After Jackie was born Mrs Green and Jackie’s father married. Mr Green had an affair and they divorced, Mrs Green got very depressed and soon found she was an alcoholic. This caused problems with her former Job as a hotel bar manager, she often did not turn up for work and when she did she would drink. She lost her job and her 3 bed roomed house that she previously owned. They were placed in a council house when social services had this reported they visited. Jackie was placed into a home and Mrs Green was told to go to counselling to help her with her ‘problem’.

She did and was thought to have recovered; she soon lost her way again and is still unemployed. She cares for her daughter very much but finds it hard to show, this is because Jackie reminds her too much of her father. She tries to do the best for her daughter and is really sorry for what she has been put through and how she treats Jackie. She is a sensibly dressed woman and looks young for her age, she has dark black/brown hair and green eyes she does not wear much makeup anymore. She is insecure. I showed that Mrs Green was insecure by holding on to my coat as though it gave her security. I often bowed my head when I realised was hurting Jackie or ashamed of what I had done for instance when I know that I spent all the food money the previous week I bow my head and I speak in a lower voice to show that I am ashamed and regret it. I try to avoid eye contact when I am confronted to show I am insecure.

Zo’s parents died in a car crash when she was 6 she had no other relatives so was put in a care home. She ran away to live in Manchester and when she could not find a place to live or work took to ‘escorting’ she found an abandoned flat and set up residence there, it is now her squat. She is 19 has brown hair and brown eyes she is comfortable with who she is, but knows this is not the life for Jackie, she is not very good at friendship. She gets Jackie involved in escorting and drugs knowing that its wrong she doesn’t push her into escorting, but when it comes to the cannabis she tells her that she cannot listen to the advice of her alcoholic mother and pushes her into it. Zo’s difficult past makes her think she is worth nothing and this is why she is an escort and a drug user. I try to use strong body language to show that Jackie can be quite loud and rash; I raise my eyebrows and tilt my head slightly when I try to get a point across for example when she doesn’t want any of the spliff (cannabis). I always cross my legs when sat down because this gives the impression to some people as something only sexually active people do (this is not true however).

This course work created many problems we did not choose our group very carefully and wasted some time, there was originally 3 people in our group but 2weeks before we were due to perform we were informed one of our members was going to be away for at least 3 weeks. So we had to change our play and characters giving us some problems, we had planned to do our lighting and costumes in the following fortnight as well as add the final touches but were know unable to because of rehearsing the changes that had to be made and learning new characters. The person who was away was going to play the main character Jackie and my other group member was going to play Zo and the mother’s friend in scene 3.

We did our lighting on the day and only had very basic lighting with simple black outs. We also had to reassess the staging because the curtains were not available to be used so we had less space so we stuck to the same basic 3 chairs for both houses and the caf but had the door at different point for the first house the door was on the audience’s left, for the squat the door was on the audiences right and I am unsure were it was in the caf that was up to my partner. For when Zo was speaking to the audience semi narrating the story a stool was placed in front. If we had done our staging and lighting before the day of the performance we would have had three chairs covered in a blanket as the first houses sofa, with the basic lighting.

The stool would have a spotlight in the centre of the stage to give it more emphasis. The squat would be to the audiences left and have dim lighting because there wouldn’t be any electricity available to it. The props we used were a carrier bag full of bottles, for when the mother comes home from shopping and again for when Jackie commits suicide. Also a mobile is used for when I call an ambulance. A lighter is used for when I mime rolling a spliff and light Jackie’s and mine. For my costume’s I wear a long red jacket and cream trousers as the mother. For Zo I wear a leather mini skirt, a white strap top and a black jacket with a grey hood. I wear the clothes for the mother because they are easy to change into and are sensible, which I feel my character would prefer. I wear the clothes for Zo because they are revealing and shout prostitution to me.

The performance was not brilliant, there was too many scene changes and black outs, it was too long. Our performances were better than we had anticipated and we remembered almost everything, we did forget some lines but managed to improvise quite well. I could have been bolder and confident in my acting so that I could express my characters better, and my body language, facial expressions and voice was not as good as they could have been for the mother especially. Our play idea was good it had a strong storyline and a lot of drama and emotions put into it. It did involve to many scene changes and was quite long as it was only meant to be short. The lighting was most effective when Jackie tried to kill herself we decided not to show her killing herself and just blacked out instead. The staging was simple but allowed us to make the movements necessary for the performance. Costumes did help express the characters and show whom I was playing and when. The props helped show what I was doing at times for instance when I was rolling a spliff (cannabis).

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