• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

(Based on a performance of Hamlet)Discuss, in detail, what you felt to be either the strongest or the weakest performance by one actor and explain why. Give details of a particular scene or section, including reference to voice, movement, characterization

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Choose a scene or section from a production you have seen during your course. Discuss, in detail, what you felt to be either the strongest or the weakest performance by one actor and explain why. Give details of a particular scene or section, including reference to voice, movement, characterization and relationships between characters on stage. I have chosen to write about is the University College School Production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by Allan Steven, seen on 29th March 2007 at the Lund Theatre. The actor whose performance I felt was the strongest is Jay Saighal, who played the character Claudius, The King of Denmark, younger Hamlet's uncle, and the play's antagonist. The villain of the play, Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power, but he occasionally shows signs of guilt and human feeling-his love for Gertrude, for instance, seems sincere. The scene I have chosen is Act I Scene II, the aftermath of Claudius' coronation and wedding, during which he attempts to consolidate his power, and balance the mourning of Denmark with the delight of his marriage to Hamlet's widow, Gertrude. ...read more.

Middle

A part of the actor's performance I felt was very strong, and something that I feel I definitely learnt from for my own practical work, was his use of hand gesture. He moved his hands in a different way to emphasize each and every word- pointing towards particular people and supplementing every mood his speech covered with relevant hand gestures, which seemed natural and really made the audience believe what the King was saying, as well as his courtiers. Whereas the attendees' eyeline was sharply focused on Claudius, he too used eyeline to boost the strength of his performance. The character's intention is to deliver his speech to perk up the mood in Denmark. The audience gets the feeling in this scene that he is almost trying to intimidate people into forgetting about elder Hamlet, which he does by moving his eyes very shiftily from one person to another, a very persuasive technique, giving his speech a personal feel for all of those in attendance. He mentions that young Fortinbras has written to him, rashly demanding the surrender of the lands King Hamlet won from Fortinbras' father, and dispatches Cornelius and Voltimand with a message for the King of Norway, Fortinbras' elderly uncle. ...read more.

Conclusion

He wants elder Hamlet to be forgotten as quickly as possible, for him to get on with his reign swiftly, and for the attention of the kingdom to be distracted away from his marriage to his brother's widow. As he speaks to Hamlet, his warmth seems pretentious, glancing down pensively at the floor every few seconds, as if his guilt keeps catching up with him, and his relaxed posture and gesture seem intentionally forced by Claudius. As he speaks to Hamlet he occasionally goes and sits next to his new wife and holds her hand or embraces her, as if to say that despite any initial misconceptions made about the speed and manner of their marriage, that it was good for Gertrude and that Hamlet should be happy for him. However, this again seems like a fa�ade, his actions and Gertrude's reactions too frequently unnatural and overemphasized. In review, the performance of Jay Saighal in this scene was fantastic. I found every aspect of what he did spot on, leaving a brilliant first impression of Claudius in my mind, which was vital to my understanding and enjoyment of the plot of the play. Ryan Corcoran ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. Free essay

    Drama review. On the 6.11.11 we attended a performance, which is based on ...

    sheet, the characters would move the doors at times and make sure the doors were in sync as they were moving. I believe the stage was set up in this way to represent the trapped, and crust phobic feeling Gregor had felt and what his life had become as he

  2. Dorian Gray - Explain In detail how the context influenced the choreography.

    Bourne used poses and freeze frames to express the process of drug taking to the audience, like sniffing, injecting and taking pills, we used this idea in our piece as it is a clear and prominent way of illustrating to the audience what is happening on stage, We used brushing

  1. Drama Performance

    way in which the mother manoeuvred questions which she did not want to answer, this was acted very well and showed tension. Our set for this was again acted on a open ended stage with a minimalistic stage, this included; a few boxes with different things in each such as,

  2. : As an actor explain how you would portray the relationship between Algernon and ...

    to the first scene Jack becomes less of a Gentleman and displays his anger by distributing Aunt Augusta, I as Jack have a very upset tone and am pacing, which is one of Algernon's mannerisms. Gwendolyn enters and confesses her love to Jack, Jack is pleased and blushes, and he is once more his chivalrous self.

  1. Analysing Vocal Performance

    Thirdly his voiceis very vibrato, it is very 'grainy' with regular wavering especially in his singing in the such repeated word 'surviver' at the end of the song where the vibrato is very exaggerated. The voice is made up of many more attributes which are less obvious but equally important

  2. From Act One, Scene Two of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', choose a character who ...

    If Bottom was a good actor, he could play a female part because in Shakespeare's time, only men acted on the stage and they played all the parts, male and female. Bottom has to be bossy in his playing of the part and has to interrupt Quince in everything he says making comments all the time that waste everyone's time.

  1. With particular reference to the nobles discuss whether Marlowe creates heroes or villains in ...

    sly inveigling Frenchman' and perhaps to an extent homophobia. For 16th century audience perhaps when foreigners and homosexuals were not readily accepted such comments may not have seemed villainous and may have in fact seemed patriotic or masculine nevertheless this is not heroic behaviour to a modern day audience.

  2. Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello, Act One, Scene One, ...

    It is Midsummer Eve (M.E): within the period of 1874. The history and background of M.E, and the celebrations associated with it, took its modern form with the advent of Christianity ? expanding out to include the celebration of the birth of St.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work