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AS and A Level: Plays

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  1. How do one or more of the performers in Othello use their skills to create sympathy within the audience?

    By talking slowly and leaving pauses between significant words and lines, it wrongly convinces the audience that the chatacter is initially calm and not impulsive, and thinks about what he is doing and saying, showing he is a clever, good man that Othello is not appreciating, yet however we do, through this intimate one to one insight into Iagos thoughts. In this scene Iago also uses physical skill to urge the audience to sympathise with him. His facial expression is ever changing to correlate with his words.

    • Word count: 972
  2. Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello, Act One, Scene One, I played the Leading Actor and we focused on Contexts

    in anticipation of the advent of the Producer being ?here in a moment to rehearse.? The audience would consequently understand that, with the entrance of me, the Other Actors and then shortly after the Producer, what they saw before hand was not per se a performance; but instead an illusion of one. Fourth Performance: ?Miss Julie? by august Strindberg, Scene 1. I played ?Jean? and we focused on contexts ? Social, Cultural, Historical and Political ? and Practitioner Contexts Written in 1888 and first produced in Denmark in 1889, the play?s setting is within the kitchen of a count?s Swedish County Manor.

    • Word count: 3918
  3. Review of Frank McGuiness's adaptation of "Electra"

    The set of the play is extremely minimalistic, with small feature which make up the arena; a tap, a fire pit, a tree and two pillar with a door in between them are featured on the stage, and I believe these component are symbolic of the four element, fire, earth, water and air. The tree however is barren and the branches are cut off before their time. This is representative of Electra?s father, Agamemnon as he was murdered but also because his family line is no more, he can no longer have any more children to pass on his name.

    • Word count: 997
  4. A Dolls House: How would you perform the role of Nora with Krogstad and Doctor Rank to highlight the differences in both social status and their function.

    When she asks ?What do you want to talk to my husband about?? I would say this line very coldly, yet quietly, in a serious tone. I would be standing in the doorway and have my arms crossed, to show Krogstad that this house is Torval?s and mine and that he?s just a visitor. There would be full eye contact from my side. When Krogstad starts explaining himself to me, I would stand still and turn my face slightly to the side as if questioning what he is saying.

    • Word count: 597
  5. The Seagull -Actors take second place to designers in the theatre of the 21st century Discuss the above statement in relation to the play you have seen in performance compared to its original performance conditions.

    Despite this, Judith Croft, the designer of Honer?s production, completely reimagined other aspects of the set, for example it?s simple representational realism, which is vastly different from it? 19th century counterpart. Although it may down to more practical reasons, such as the common use of TV nowadays, which is not only a more realistic competitor to theatre, but it also gives audiences information, so they will know what things are supposed to look like. It may also have been done to make sure that the audience?s attention is directed to the most significant areas, such as the mismatched curtains on Konstantin?s play.

    • Word count: 883
  6. What function do you think the MC should have, and how would you perform the role from the opening of the play up to the line Well, thats the end of Part one of The War Game?

    The MC is the character who engages most with the audience, breaking the fourth wall intentionally to interact. Instead of just telling the audience something or showing them a story, the MC talks to them and references their laughter or lack of it. With hints from the play, I see the MC as a comic character, almost clown-like, and I would say this comedy is an essential part of his role. Among the deeper tones of the play?s narrative, I would have part of the MC?s role to be keeping the performance upbeat and light-hearted.

    • Word count: 1296
  7. How would you perform the role of Creon in his first appearance with the Chorus and in his last appearance of the play to demonstrate to your audience how his character changes?

    religion. I would have short curly black and slightly grey hair with a thick beard similar to the hair. Tall, broad shouldered showing my physical dominance on stage. I'd wear a burgundy sleeveless knee length chiton with a high-neckline made from linen including gold detail on the neckline, a brown coloured leather belt and brown woollen himation draped over the right shoulder. I would also have brown leather sandals, and a gold ring and chain necklace too. I would have a large scar running down the left side of my leg, showing the conflict and wars I have been involved in from the past.

    • Word count: 1005
  8. Monologue Choice. I eventually found one monologue its called 'my mother said I never should' by Charlotte Keatley. The play is about difficult relationships between mothers and daughters.

    She has a very successful life but has a very painful secret. In the the early seventies at the age of nineteen she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter Rosie. She couldnt handle the demands of single parenthood after Rosie's father moved away with another woman. She then had to give Rosie up under pressure from her mother, and so she was brought up by her grandparents. Later on one Margaret who Rosie thought was her mother had just died from cancer, Rosie was going through paperwork only to find her birth certificate.

    • Word count: 1086
  9. Ballet Review of Balanchine's Prodigal Son

    to the almost foetal being he becomes in the end scene. I liked the Siren and her almost dancing a Pas de Deux with her cape. I particularly liked the imagery of the table being turned and the son sliding down the slippery slope. I found the presence of the ensemble at times confusing, such as when they seemed to turn into crabs when the son was left completely without possessions. The story displays a spoilt young man who is confident in everything he does, this is shown in the way he commands his servants, his sisters and becomes the equivalent too todays troubled teenager when he does not get what he wants.

    • Word count: 732
  10. Written Performance Concept for Lady Macbeth

    This monologue is most effective as it enhances the fact that she feels guilty, which leads to her death. Preparation Process: First and foremost, I studied the narrative to have a deeper understanding of her character as I wanted to recreate how Lady Macbeth is perceived to the audience. I started to look at how the monologue should be spoken to explore the element of vocal awareness. I concluded that by pausing before emphasizing an important word or concept helps construct a more powerful emotion for both the character and the spectators.

    • Word count: 479
  11. Doctor Faustus Review

    It seemed like a very simple set, but also very effective. It clearly showed the time the performance was set and allowed us to have a personal interpretation of the character Doctor Faustus without even meeting him. Whilst the lights were still on and people were coming into the theatre, it seemed like the production started as we are first introduced to two characters walking around in a sinister sort of manor, whether it was because people were late into the theatre or it was planned, it was a huge distraction and it was hard to focus on the dilemma which is occurring on stage, as I kept on turning my

    • Word count: 1022
  12. On the 14th of November we went to watch Scene Productions perform Doctor Faustus at Roses Theatre

    The music was playing before the characters were introduced on stage; this was to set an eerie atmosphere beforehand. As the screams and crashes were played, Lucifer looked amongst the audience and pointed, to suggest that she can see the people entering Hell. The constant smile on her fact represented her character as liking evil and to be ironically sinister. We were first introduced to both Katharine Hurst who played the role of Lucifer and Stuart Walker who played the role of Mephistopheles. Lucifer was wearing red and black to highlight the setting of hell and the sinister and demented character she played the role of.

    • Word count: 1251
  13. Blood Brothers Review - Birmingham Hippodrome

    He also made sure he was engaging with the audience by using facial expressions. One effective facial expression, I personally thought was good was when he dropped his face in an exaggerated way like a child would do if they were sad. His voice was loud and confident to show that Mickey was able to speak his mind, and slightly high pitched to present his age. Sean also showed a shy side of Mickey when he was around Linda. He showed this by placing his hands in his pockets and looking away as if he was embarrassed.

    • Word count: 1973
  14. The Good Person of Szechwan, extract pg 105-108: As a director, discuss how you would stage the extract in order to bring out your interpretation of it for an audience. Your answer should include justified suggestions for the direction of your cast, and for the design of the piece as appropriate to the style of the play.

    In order to achieve this, I would use the put the sofa from Shen Teh's shop, and have it lifted onto the counter, and then use the unit of shelving as a desk. This would be positioned with the Gods' backs to the stage right flat (rather than face on to the audience), in order to open up sight lines for when Shen Teh has to adress the Gods (however I would instruct certain parts of this to be directed to the audience anyway).

    • Word count: 1736
  15. How would you want your audience to respond to the character of Mrs Betterton in Act Two, Scene Two? Explain how you would perform the role in order to achieve your aims.

    Betterton, she starts to go off topic ?There is scarcely a fellow that does not sport one. Bristly or fluffy. You cannot step out of doors nowadays but you see a periwig advancing towards you at great speed and in danger of toppling? again, the fact that she has deviated from the subject again means that she is worried about asking the question straight out. This again shows that she knows he is more powerful and could have anything done to her as a consequence. We assume that they are married, meaning they have a lose relationship.

    • Word count: 1421
  16. Discuss how youd perform Mrs Farley in 2 sections of the play, Playhouse Creatures, making it clear the impact youd have on the audience.

    Mrs Farley says ?I went back looking for the special stairs but I couldn?t find them. They took me there before and it was easy, but when I went back I couldn?t find them. It was like a maze. I wandered and wandered. You get tired. Where will I go?? ? I think this should be said in a quiet and mousey voice to portray that she is very helpless without the King or even a male supporter because it will be so hard for her to make money without one. ?It was like a maze.? Should be said adamantly as if to show the others that she realises she needs to try and went back but to no avail.

    • Word count: 984
  17. Discuss how you would direct Mrs Betterton in 2 sections of the play, making it clear the effect you hope to have on your audience.

    She should be wringing her hands and not looking at anyone in particular as if she can?t face the fact that she is no longer a valued actress in this theatre. I would have all the actresses in a group talking as to show that Mrs Betterton is separate from them due to her age and superiority. ?Mr Betterton has talked to me? is another significant line on this page because throughout the play we never see Mr Betterton we just hear that he has been giving orders and that he runs the theatre.

    • Word count: 1352
  18. Our Countries Good, performed in the Bolton Octagon in September 2012, used multirole throughout to fully allow us to see the performers wide range of skill .

    When adopting each role Ian Redford adopted entirely difference characteristics and mannerisms, completely separating the characters. The first character we met was Arscott in Act 1 Scene 1 on the ship. Ian Redford adopted a slumped positioning in the wooden hatch along with the other convicts expressing the cramped conditions of the ship. The wooden hatch was mid stage on a raised moveable platform. This multi-purposeful hatch was a used frequently throughout the play as a whole. Here it is used for the hulk of the ship used to transport the convicts. In 1789 Britain transported convicts to Australia, as the loss of the USA meant a loss of the place where they used to send most of its criminal classes and so they decided to send them to Australia for a sentence of seven years.

    • Word count: 1411
  19. Explain how you would perform the role of the Sentry, in each of his two appearances, in order to reveal his change of attitude from his initial fear for his own life to his relief as he brings a guilty Antigone before Creon.

    If I can hardly speak for the lack of breath... it?s not ?cos I ran...? the use of respecting address ?My Lord? and ?...? helps show the worry and anxiety of speaking to Creon. Sentry would perform this so his voice would be quick, but shaky, with extended pause to emphasise the ?...? to help elucidate the nervousness Sentry has and that he?s panicking because of the high authority Creon has. Whilst stuttering these words out, Sentry?s body would still be all tense from entering, but he would now start fidgeting and wringing his hands, to help show that he is feeling uncomfortable and uneasy.

    • Word count: 2443
  20. Review of "Bedroom Farce" by Alan Ayckbourn.

    The marital disasters of Trevor and Susannah weave in out and out of the bedrooms. Lots of laughs inhabit this wacky farce set in London in the seventies. Major themes I thought were presented in this play were marriage, sexual equalities and woman's rights. During the performance of Bedroom farce, the character that impressed me the most was Susannah, Trevor?s self-obsessed neurotic wife who was played by Louise Yates who I believed showed a convincing performance of a couple on the verge of divorce, which was evident throughout the play.

    • Word count: 967
  21. Evaluate the use of acting techniques and staging elements in Wild Bride. Make reference to the style and form of performance and practitioner influence where appropriate.

    ?Wild Bride? is a romantic fairytale comedy. For my evaluation of acting techniques and staging elements I have chosen the physical theatre production of ?Wild Bride?. I will analyse the characters of the Prince and the father of the Bride, who were both performed by Stuart Goodwin, and Stuart McLoughlin who performed as the Narrator, and the vocal and physical skills, through multi-role, and storytelling that they used in particular moments throughout the performance. Multirole is where different or multiple characters are performed by the same actor or actress.

    • Word count: 2101
  22. A Doll's house. How would you perform the role of Doctor Rank during his exchanges with Nora in act two in order to achieve your preferred audience resopnse(s) to the character?

    When Rank enters the scene Nora says "I recognised your ring" This implies to Dr Rank that he is special to Nora because she recognises his ring amongst anyone else's, she follows this with "Don't disturb Torvald he is busy" Torvald is most likely not busy Nora just wants Rank to sit and talk to her and keep her company because she enjoys his company. Nora's flirtatious ways leads Dr Rank to admit that he loves her, Nora didn't specifically plan for this to happen she wanted Rank to be in a good mood so that she could ask for some money but instead Rank is in a rubbish mood as he tells Nora he is going to die shortly.

    • Word count: 1034
  23. Evaluation of the Performance of "Anne and Zef" by Ad de Bont

    The play offers emotions involving sadness, shock, humour, risk , freedom and love as we are taken through a love story which comes from the worst possible scenario. The set design offers compliments to the story itself by adding different dimensions of height and also so the audience can differentiate between reality and the dream world of heaven. The set design is minimalistic and offers new thought provoking ideas about the sub-text of the story. The set which was designed by Miriam Nabarro gave the audience clear understanding about Zef?s home-life and family situation.

    • Word count: 1166
  24. Review of the comedy in "One Man Two Guvnors" .

    Mansfield left Owain on stage and excused himself with a masterful piece of improvisation ? ?oh, I seem to have left it in my suitcase?. At this point Arthur was uncontrollable corpsing. This was surprising, but highly amusing. This style of acting was allowed due to the Comical style of the play, you can?t imagine Lady Macbeth achieving the same number of laughs. This engagement of the audience made us feel like we were getting a unique show, something you hardly ever find.

    • Word count: 763

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