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community coursework

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Introduction

Community Performance Project Introduction: For the community project we were given the theme of the life and works of legendary film maker Alfred Hitchcock to be presented through the style of cabaret. Cabaret originated in France in the late 1800's and prominently features the use of comedy, dance, music and drama. The location of the performance consisted of the Hitchcock Hotel in Whipps Cross; theoretically the most appropriate setting to pay homage to the masterful director. As the whole section of the course is called 'Community Project' , it should come as no surprise that it was aimed at the people in the community, that grew up in the same place that Hitchcock did. The overall aim was the give new insight, in an entertaining way, into the life and works of Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock's films were extremely important of course and we primarily decided on his masterpiece 'Psycho' for use; 'Anthony Perkins/Norman Bates' was our MC and 'Janet Leigh' was on of the female protagonists. The other films we looked at were 'Rope' and 'The Birds' but we decided on 'Rope' which ultimately played a key role in the conclusion of the play. As a stimulus, we watched some of the works of famous choreographer Bob Fosse and we aimed at making the piece energetic and physical much like his style. ...read more.

Middle

The scene between Tippi and Hitchcock set in his trailer where he attempted to make sexual advances to her. We were unsure of how serious the scene should be and we ultimately decided on taking a Berkoff style approach by using two actors as a chorus and in the style of Lecoq use mime and sounds to enhance some of the words or phrases or actions the characters said or did. When we first improvised the scene, the dialogue came out very sharp and very funny and we kept it that way throughout. The choral speech and movement had to be worked on because it lacked energy and we were struggling to keep up with the pace of the dialogue so we chose words we thought were essential and used those added by mime; for example 'sexual advances' was repeated by the chorus is a husky voice accompanied by outrageous hip thrusting movements which also added more comedy. We set it out as the two characters sitting down with a chorus on either side of them which not only enhanced the drama but also provided different levels. The 'Psycho' character we felt was something that needed a lot of work and exploration because there was a lot of opportunities where we could take the character. We started out has having him as softly spoken, wild-eyed and rigid and we soon realised it wasn't working at all; it went against the conventions of the melodrama and it was too dreary and lacked projection. ...read more.

Conclusion

Every movement of flicking the hair, or the lazy hand being held up, the exaggerated speech and the silly walking really helped bring out the physical comedy; for this to be achieved, we simply decided we should do the scene pretending to wear high heels which in turn helped us slip into character. When the Norman character steps in, we decided to bring out the horror but at the same time his charm and reasoning so it would make sense why Tippi and Janet found his proposal so appealing. We did this by showing Norman act out what they could potentially do, in a gruesome and graphic way. It was a very physical depiction and it was really successful in showing his insanity. The grand finale we felt called for a different song and this time we contrasted it with a dark and hard-hitting song in comparison to the light opening. 'We're gonna kill Hitchcock/We're gonna make his heart stop/ We're gonna use this rope/We're gonna make him choke!' During the improvisation, we felt that those four lines were good and worked but we could easily add to it so we decided to each of us come up with a rhyming quadruplet which we could perform solo in between the chorus. They ended up being lines that showed the motives of the characters for what they were about to do except for Hitchcock; his line was influenced very much by a real life quote from Hitchcock himself: ...read more.

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