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Explore the impact of social, cultural and or/historical conditions on the work and indicate how the influences and ideas of other playwrights and/or directors, designers and performers (i.e. practitioners) have been used.

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Introduction

Explore the impact of social, cultural and or/historical conditions on the work and indicate how the influences and ideas of other playwrights and/or directors, designers and performers (i.e. practitioners) have been used. It was important that our production appealed to a wide range of ages and styles as we performed to students within the school as well as teachers, friends and parents. If we had only used Shakespearian language, it would have lost the attention of younger students, and conversely, the use of only modern texts would have meant little to older audience members. By researching back as early as the 16th century, it showed that blind love affects everyone, and has always been part of love and relationships. If we had only portrayed blind love from one historical context, it could have seemed like a purely outdated or a purely recent thing. We wanted the audience to recognise this in from their own experiences. The interaction between Helena and Demetrius in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' would seem unacceptably rude in today's society "I am sick when I do look on thee", yet was not so in Shakespeare's day. ...read more.

Middle

Nora in Ibsen's play, and Roger in De Angelis' both leave relationships due to sexuality, frustration and repression. Love is not meant to restrict, and these two plays emphasise this. The context definitely shaped how we used the different texts; 'Hedda Gabler' was one clear example of this. Because their discussion on their affair was obviously littered with sexual innuendo, Josh, Steph, Nicole and Sam over-exaggerated this as it seemed so amusing in hindsight. There was almost a sense of mocking the very strict attitude of the time, particularly with our own version of that scene placed later in the production "Will you shag me now?" Beauty and the Beast' shows a fictional example of someone seeing below the surface of a relationship. The idea of a woman falling in love with a beast, despite their grotesque physical appearance is a classic, though improbable example of our concept. Written in the 18th century, the play aimed, similarly to ours, to strengthen the audience's understanding of shallow beauty. An audience now is less likely to immediately be inspired and change their perspective on love, and although the strong moral element is transparent, it shows the most clear, extreme example of open eyes "See with more than your eyes". ...read more.

Conclusion

It also allows us to compare time periods and tone, like in Keatley's play, the scenes are not in chronological order, nor increasing or decreasing in emotional intensity. This unpredictability means the audience are constantly engaged, as every scene is different, and can either contrast or complement the next. We fortunately had the opportunity to take part in a Berkoff workshop run by a touring theatre company which was hugely beneficial. "His fierce and unrelenting exploitation of all the elements of theatre, especially with regard to the physicality of the actor in all its manifestations"; the exaggerated characterisation and use of body language typical of Berkoff was a definite influence, and used particularly in scenes such as Hedda Gabler, Time and the Conways and Beauty and the Beast. In order to successfully communicate our concept of blind love to the audience, and the unwillingness to look closer, the characters' intentions has to be very clear. The Beast was physically formed by six members of the group, and in order to make the Beast really animalistic, we used all of our bodies and vocal skills. If any element or group member was not a hundred per cent committed to the role, we would have run the risk of appearing comic when it was not intended. Helen Fletcher 13A Structured Record ...read more.

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