• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Billy Liar: How to play Rita in her first scene

Extracts from this document...


Set Text Essay - Billy Liar 6a) I have been using the Nelson Thornes Dramascripts edition of Billy Liar. I will discuss how I would play Rita in the selected scene. In this particular scene, I think it is important to show how aggravating the character of Rita is to everyone else on stage, and while I want the audience to understand this too, it is also a scene rich in moments with comic potential. For most of the section, Rita is pushy and aggressive; however there are occasional moments when she almost lets her guard down. I wish to explore the subtextual side of Rita's personality including the motives for her wanting the engagement ring from Billy. I view Rita as more complex than she may appear on first impressions, and instead of solely wanting the ring to show off, she may desire the ring to give her a feeling of belonging, to prove to herself and those around her that she can be loved, as in places, she could be seen as a deeply insecure character. At the beginning of the selected section, when Rita first makes her entrance, I want the audience to see how Rita does anything to get what she wants, even if it entails storming into a stranger's house. I would also want the audience to see that she is a formidable character, who will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. ...read more.


Barbara would say the line "Billy's grandma... ill in bed", at which point Rita first turns to Barbara and, after a sharp flick of her head in Barbara's direction, says "Oooh, look what the cat's brought in...in a rotten iron lung". This would be said in a high pitched voice, to sound like I am imitating Barbara and with a varying intonation to add to the childish connotations of imitating someone. Barbara's line "for your information, I happen to be Billy's fianc´┐Ż" is the one thing during this scene which alters Rita's otherwise constant mocking tone. After her line is said, I would initially begin as I said the previous line, saying the words "Oooh, for your information" in the same condescending tone as before, and the realisation of what Barbara really said would hit me after this part of the line. I would pause after these words, and slightly furrow my brow in a confused manner and purse my lips plaintively. I would slightly stutter on the next part of the line, as if I couldn't believe what I had just heard. Through the rest of the line, my intonation would rise higher and higher, and I would begin to accelerate my speech as Rita loses control and becomes more agitated, at being lied to by Billy, about someone which she would consider less desirable than her. This also reveals that Rita might care more about the engagement than she outwardly shows, and she might really be hurt that she couldn't make her relationship work. ...read more.


As she rudely cuts into Billy's tired explanation, I would hold up my hand in an outstretched stop sign, almost pushing it into his face, to show just how sick of his convoluted excuses she is. After this I would return my hands to my hips and strut downstage while saying "well she can have you... very much doubt" and during these lines, I would have a smug expression on my face. However, this would quickly change to a scowl with a furrowed forehead, as I begin to reel off the list of insults which Rita throws at Billy. These successive slurs would result in me repeatedly prodding Billy on his chest while quickly walking in his direction, almost chasing him. The volume in my voice would increase, and end in me shouting in Billy's face as I would be closer to him by now. This will end the section with Rita being the leader in the argument, and she has had the satisfying last word, which suits her firm and aggressive nature. In conclusion, I hope I have created a picture of Rita being a forthright and belligerent character, full of determination to achieve what she wants with little or no consideration for anybody else in the situation. However, I feel that her frustration and, at times, slight desolation over the fact that she couldn't make her engagement work with Billy, or she was in some way not all that he wanted, was also displayed in some sections. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Reddington March 2009 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Plays essays

  1. A dolls house act 2 plot summary

    Helmer says it will look bad at the bank if he does as his wife tells him to - people will talk if he dismisses someone then takes them back. Helmer reveals he knew Krogstad as a boy, but it was a rash relationship, which proves to be difficult in afterlife.

  2. How would you direct the characters Abigail and Proctor to convey meaning to an ...

    The after Johns lines she says her next line in the same tone. Then she walks away and does a sudden turn once she is quite far away from him and says very bitterly 'Oh, I marvel how such a strong man may let such a sickly wife be-' She

  1. How would you direct the characters in the yellow bird scene?

    will do anything to get justice for the people that have been accused. When Proctor says the word 'pretend' to Mary, I would direct Proctor to say that in a pretentious way, this conveys to the audience that he desperately wants Mary to faint.

  2. GCSE Drama: Summative Task: Designer Option

    The design and shape will be something like this because it is a typical Chinese structure and will immediately inform the audience of the setting. The backdrop of the Montague family will have a mixture of Chinese and English designs.

  1. monolouge I am really popular, my very best friend is Violet Bing and ...

    I really like him; he is so cute and when he smiles he gets dimples...... ok let's not get to my business. So that's it one month of waste gone down the drain. I mean look at her now sitting there like an innocent, like a victim.

  2. Antigonie How I would set the first choral movement

    When the first coral line "Welcome, light of the sun, the fairest sun that ever has dawned upon Thebes the city of seven gates," is said, I would have half of the chorus raise and turn up, (the chorus line would alternate so one person would raise up whilst the one next to him remained still and so on.)

  1. Written Comparison with Blood Brothers and Educating Rita

    Mickey being comical whilst with Eddie. I also learnt how Mrs Johnstone should be presented and how she should be played. We also read the play Blood Brothers in depth and did plenty of work in it and helped each other understand each character and their motivations.

  2. Development - A missing scene between the Bride, Leonardo and the Servant

    Calling out to one woman, and that woman only. Leonardo takes Brides hand. Leonardo: I know you feel the same way. Servant: No she does not. Servant spins Bride off to the side as if still in a dance. Then turns to Leonardo and takes a step with every word she says.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work