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Comparing The Golden Pathway Annual to Blue Remembered Hills

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Comparing The Golden Pathway Annual to Blue Remembered Hills Michael Brooks In the autumn term of 2006 I performed as Enid and The Head in The Golden Pathway Annual, a play by John Harding & John Burrows, for my scripted performance. The class was split into groups of three (which was very fitting as in The Golden Pathway Annual most scenes have only three characters, only the odd few scenes had four) and then given different extracts from the play. My group was exceptionally conscious in keeping the props, costumes and especially acting appropriate to the time period, so some brief research was done using the Internet to give us a better understanding of, for example, what statuses the mother and father would have in relation to each other, or what costumes should be worn. Obviously, a reading of the entire play was done prior to any rehearsals, so that the scenes that we would be performing made sense to us. We also read through Blue Remembered Hills, by Dennis Potter, as a class. The Golden Pathway Annual is almost completely non-naturalistic. The same actor plays Michael, the lead role, throughout all his ages - from the age of two-and-a-half into his adulthood. ...read more.


introductions; "Every event in the script which had sparked off a personal memory, a moment of recognition for me, would do the same for an audience" (Ed Thomason). It is clear that The Golden Pathway Annual was written with the intention of nostalgia and Blue Remembered Hills was written using Potter's memories. Both the plays similarly experience the theme of fantasy, however one experiences it naturalistically and the other non-naturalistically. Blue Remembered Hills has times when the children will imagine they are Indians and cowboys, for instance, running through the forest wailing and shooting each other with their imaginary guns. This is naturalistic, as the audience sees the children "playing pretend". The Golden Pathway Annual has non-naturalistic fantasy sequences. Michael's fantasies are much more like dreams - the audience views a dream where Michael is a dog or is James Bond; it is not Michael pretending he is James Bond. Although Blue Remembered Hills was written for television, a successful stage adaptation has been made of it. A problem posed by this, which is overcome in different ways, depending on the production, is the staging. There is a section towards the end where there are instant transitions between inside a barn and outside a barn. ...read more.


However, as the play progresses, we see that cultures change and Michael finds that "like the pound, his degree has devalued". The class and culture are both very different in Blue Remembered Hills. The children spit, threaten and fight regularly in the play, something that Michael is never known to have experienced. Michael is always made presentable, as his parents believe that they need to fit in with the society. It is likely that the same case occurs in Blue Remembered Hills, however the culture is different - the entire town is likely to be of the "lower" agricultural class, working on the farms; the way the children behave is normal in the society they are in. It is clear that the upbringing of the children in Blue Remembered Hills is not to get a degree and do well in life and to better themselves, as Michael is in The Golden Pathway Annual; the children are parented in a sort of 'the present matters' mentality, in contrast to The Golden Pathway Annual where Enid and George have firm beliefs that it is the future that matters, and that everything is done for a child to better themselves in the future. In conclusion, I have learnt that although the two plays are very different in where they are set and the way the characters behave, similarities still lie in the themes and some of the styles, such as staging. ...read more.

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