In class we are performing ‘Ruby Moon’, the scene that we have chosen is scene 6 which is between Sonny Jim and Sylvie, this scene establishes the broken and psychotic world they inhabit and contextualises the grief felt by the protagonists. It demonstrates the dark and twisted atmosphere of the characters world and shows the audience the irrational state in which they live. All throughout the play we sense the important values present in Australian ideas that are represented in the world of the text. We observe the disruption of the moral code and the sense of grief and loss that the protagonists are feeling due to the absence of their child, this is a catalyst to the expression of their emotions and is connected to suburban issues as well for example how the times have changed dramatically and how normal relations disintegrate under the pressure of the parents reaction to their child’s loss.
To indicate these ideas through staging there is a variety of things we could do, for example expressing the despair and desperation in the text through the use of space between the characters at all times, having them close when trying to find answers and information about their child then moving further away when it is not obtained, this works well in our scene because Sylvie is always desperate and questioning everything, having her close to the other character also implies interrogation and invasion of their personal space which is also what she is doing anyway by knocking on every door in the neighbourhood and expecting answers. To establish the twisted and broken world that they live in, having all the characters clothes on a coat rack towards the back of the stage symbolises the split personalities the protagonists have and how they’re forever playing out their lives in an unhealthy manner, another way to convey this through staging could be the back drop of the scene, having a large window that looks out into a dark and eerie bushland with twisted gum trees shows the audience the characters views on the outside world, also putting in a windy road that leads to a cul-de-sac represents the end of their hopes for their daughters return.
An aspect that sets the mood of the scene would be the lighting, for our scene there is no light but a spotlight on Sonny Jim sitting upright in his chair this shows that before Sylvie comes in he is fixated in his own little world. When she does enter there is a dim light which emphasises the darkness of the mood and gives off a nostalgic feeling to the audience which should suggest that the characters have been over this routine more than once. Sonny Jims psychotic personality is shown to the audience through his outbursts on stage and his strange behaviour throughout the scene, it shows the variation of people in society and Australia’s unique identity which is also presented in the play in many different ways. It also gives us the idea that behind closed doors Sylvie and Ray become different people and are quite a dysfunctional family.
We have set out our scene almost exactly the same as the others but with subtle differences which should give the audience the idea that all of the characters on stage are supposed to represent the different personalities that are present in the two protagonists. Our subtle differences are having a picture of Sonny Jim in his army uniform which informs us of his “past”, a big picture of his mother that tells us he is reliant on a woman to care for him and an assortment of paper planes which indicates that he is living in a false world. These help to open the audience’s eyes and give a large hint that it’s all in the characters heads. Having Sylvie go doorknocking house to house also further demonstrates and proves the lost trust within their community; this broken trust can be staged so that the characters never come in contact in the scene, there should be a line between the two characters at all times and this can show the audience that the sense of community isn’t as close (literally) as they are thought to be.
This scene between Sylvie and Sonny Jim displays their twisted and broken world in which they live in and exhibits the grief which is felt by Sylvie while she is trying to find answers in the setting, this can be conveyed in many ways through staging, lighting and props and helps the audience decipher the lives of the protagonists. It also shows various Australian ideas that are present in the text and gives us an idea of the irrational state they live in.