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Comparative Essay - Blood Brothers & Annie

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Introduction

Joseph Kingham Drama - Part One Comparative Essay - Blood Brothers & Annie Within this essay I intend to evaluate and compare the similarities and differences between two devised thematic scripts intended for performance to an audience. The two scripts I have chosen to compare are Blood Brothers, as originally written for and performed by Merseyside Young People's Theatre Company, and Annie, as performed by Hill House St Mary's School Doncaster, 2007. I shall begin with a basic outline of each story, and the way in which it was intended to be performed. Blood Brothers is a tragedy, a tale of love, brotherhood and class set in Britain in the 1980's, which highlights the economic turbulence the country, and especially the working class, were in the midst of in this period. It begins with Mrs Johnston, a humble working class Liverpudlian, who falls in love and marries. Unfortunately the man she falls in love with is false and deceitful, and leaves her after impregnating her with what they believed would be their eighth child. In contrast, Mrs Lyons in an upper-middle class happily-married woman who, due to unfortunate biological barriers, is unable to conceive. ...read more.

Middle

Although acting is mainly intercharactorial, on occasion (especially through song and dance) it is performed directly to the audience. This makes the audience feel more involved, and makes it more fun and more suitable for children, whereas in Blood Brothers the audience require at least a modicum of insightfulness to enjoy the production. A similarity is, however, the basis of the story, the adoption of a child, from a poor, working class background into a richer, more comfortable middle/upper class, albeit at different ages. In Blood Brothers, Edward (one of the twins) is adopted as a baby by a woman who raises him almost single-handedly. In Annie, Annie is adopted into an extremely wealthy - if unorthodox - family consisting of a strong alpha male (Mr Warbucks) and his team of employees, who act as brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, and in the case of Grace (Mr Warbucks' personal assistant) it could even be argued a mother. Another strong similarity is the underlying current of dissatisfaction and class segregation in both 1920's America and 1980's Britain. In Annie it is portrayed especially through a scene in a 'Hooverville,' (local term for a slum) ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a sad reminder of where lies lead, and is an attempt by the writer to warn the audience of messing with fate - and the ultimate punishment for doing so. This leaves a lasting message with the audience. Annie, however, ends with perhaps the best outcome possible. After Daddy Warbucks becomes aware of the scam to try and claim the money by impostors, he offers to adopt her himself, an invitation she gladly accepts, in a heart-warming (although, again, slightly predictable - another similarity perhaps?) finale. The impostors are arrested and sent to jail, and everyone sings to their heart's content on Christmas day, leaving the audience with that warm feeling in the pit of their stomach (the one that's nice, not indigestion). Overall, I think the similarities between the productions is enough to warrant the evaluation that, on the most basic level at least, Annie and Blood Brothers are the same story, only told in a completely different manner - hence the enormous differences. Despite the dissimilarity in ending, both productions cause some very interesting debates, such as whether nature or nurture is more influential in the upbringing of a child, or whether class and social divides really are influential enough to prevent friendships that, in other conditions, may have blossomed. ...read more.

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