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Visual Aural Spatial Elements of the play East by Steven Berkoff

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'EAST' by Steven Berkoff Visual, Aural and Spatial elements Visual: Conventional/Naturalistic plays are expected to be real life re-created on stage, therefore the set must resemble a real looking room, the costumes have to be real clothing of the time, there should be no artificial color scheme imposed upon a naturalistic play and the lighting has to either resemble natural light or lighting that would be used indoors. However in 'East', there are no expectations for colour scheme, costume, lighting etc, however what is specified by Berkoff in the stage directions, is that there is a bare stage, five chairs and a piano; the rest is up to the director to decide. Therefore as a director/designer, I am free to do whatever I choose with colour: __________ Colour scheme: Directing East, I would use a pallet of three colours, red; white and blue. I've chosen these colours as they symbolise England, (St. George's flag/Union Jack) which also symbolises patriotism, racism (pure England) etc, which are themes that are seen within East, also it highlights that the play is set in London. The three colours also create visual impact, making the play visually interesting to watch, which is important in plays that have an abstract/non-naturalistic approach. Set: The set would stick to the three colours hat make up the colour scheme. The stage will be bare but for five chairs placed in a line at the back of the stage, (as clearly stated in the stage directions). ...read more.


The actor would be quite small, quite thin, as mum's character is getting old. The actor that I would choose to play dad would have to be, taller than the actor playing mum. Slightly overweight, and scruffy, these qualities show how dad doesn't care about his appearance. Also developing baldness would help show his age. The actress would have to have large(ish) breasts "Legendary knockers", quite slim. She is seen as attractive by men. The stereotypical tart. The actor playing Mike would have to be fairly young, well built, as the character is violent and fights a lot. He would have short hair, in the style which was fashionable at the time. The actor playing Les would have the same build/age etc. as Mike, but would have a different hair colour. HAIR & MAKE UP Hair in rollers, showing her age, and lack of social life. Red cheeks, slightly over the top, as mum is unfashionable. Grey hair. Painted on tattoo on upper arm of the England football team emblem. (patriotism) Hair let down, seen to be flirty. Red lipstick, also flirty, and red cheeks, which shows that she is also quite innocent, like a young girl. Scruffy hair. One black eye, to show that he gets into fights a lot. Scruffy hair. Scar on side of face, again to highlight violent background. ...read more.


Sound effects: The sound effects in East must be achieves by the actors, using voice or any other part of their anatomy, as Berkoff did not want to use any form of artificial/recorded sound effects. We experimented with sound effects in lesson where we created a whole scene purely with sound effects that we had to create ourselves, I thought that the scene this worked particularly well in was the scene where the family go down to Southend, where we made the sounds of rides and fairground music to create the effect of the Southend attractions, and for the beach sounds, we made sounds of seagulls screeching, the sea splashing on the sand, and children laughing. Spatial: Types of staging: Berkoff's decision was for East to be performed in proscenium arch staging. However I would consider using traverse staging, as I find that it is intimate, and the audience feel like they are actually there watching over it. Traverse staging has two sight lines, unlike proscenium arch, which has one, I find this better as the actors have to use the space more and perform to two sides of the stage, and across the whole length of it, scenes like scene 16, 'Les' Speech: A Night Out', would work really well in traverse staging. In class we performed scene 16 in three different types of staging, end on; traverse and in the round. Proscenium Arch (End on) In The Round Traverse Angela Trupia. ...read more.

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