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Habeas Corpus.

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Laura Laws 11n1 Paper 2- Evaluative Commentary. Habeas Corpus. Habeas Corpus. The name of this play is quite strange, it made me think of death (corpse), maybe a hideous corpse. My first impressions when I heard that we were going to see the play were very confused. Written by Alan Bennett, Habeas Corpus was a play written by a playwright I had never heard of before, so I had no real expectations. The impressions I did have were completely different from the play I was presented with at the Theatre by the Lake. The theatre is in an idealistic setting in the heart of the Lake District, which is a main tourist area in the U.K., so this means that the majority of audiences will be mainly tourists on holiday and so will be from a wide range of backgrounds and a lot of different age groups. The venue was useful in the setting of the play. The set used a holiday theme and this was very effective and fitted in well with the plot of the play too. I didn't know anything about the director, so I couldn't think what sort of drama forms he might use. The performance spanned April to November, so I don't think that the time of year it was presented in is important, as it would be for example a pantomime at Christmas, but it just so happened to be on in the busiest time of the tourist season, so the holiday theme was appropriate here too. ...read more.


Dr Wicksteed is Dennis' father and a perverted doctor who likes nothing more than slyly touching up young rich paying patients, namely Felicity and is desperate for love before he dies. His wife Mrs. Wicksteed is in love with the head doctor Sir Percy Shorter, who doesn't love her any more but finds lust in Felicity who turns out to be his daughter. There are also extra characters like Connie Dennis's Aunt who is very pathetic (until she gets her wonderbra). She is engaged to The Perverted Vicar who preferred her when she looked like a boy. He also stared up the skirt of Felicity's Mother on the train, she had a war time affair with Sir Percy. Connie falls in love with the Wonderbra salesperson that is chased by Mrs. Wicksteed. Finally, there is the Suicide fanatic, a non-paying patient who is always trying to end his life via hanging throughout the play but finds no sympathy. The narrator is the Wicksteeds' family cleaner Mrs. Swabb, who guides us through this otherwise confusing play with humour. Not surprisingly, the main theme in this play was sex and relationships. There were also: - marriage - love - death - promiscuity as main themes. The play was set in the early 1970's when the promiscuous society was just becoming accepted. It was also very obviously a farce and a comedy even though it touched upon serious themes. ...read more.


The rest of the actors were very still so they did not detract any attention from the story. Some of the drama forms used were subtle but worked well. Here is my favorite: -Still imaging- they made photographic poses around the centre of attention to focus our attention to the person and so we could see everyone in a way that was pleasing to the eye, colorful and interesting also this is related to the postcard theme of the set design. All the actors were very believable but not in a normal way. You know that they were too stereotypical to be true and that it was a farce but they still came through as real people. All the characters stood out to me in their own special way, and you could relate to all of them in some way so this made them interesting to watch. If you think about it, the farce comes out of laughing at your own faults and how stereotypical we are as much as we want to think we aren't. This was the most important thing in the play, the way they looked at society was original. I really enjoyed Habeas Corpus, it was thought provoking and made you look at yourself in a different light. It made me laugh and delivered a serious message at the same time- don't waste your life and seize every opportunity you get. Mrs Cook, I have 1461 words is this OK because the sheet says 1000 only?? ...read more.

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