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Comparing 'Under the Bridge', 'Junk' and our own Devised piece Leaving Home.

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By Rachel Armstrong - 19/08/2003 Comparing 'Under the Bridge', 'Junk' and our own Devised piece Leaving Home My practical work in July-September 2003 was for option 1 and consisted of Devised work on the theme of Homelessness. We titled our piece 'Leaving Home'. There were four of us in our group. Our work is based on the play 'Under the Bridge'. We start with Scene 3 of 'Under the Bridge', acted straight from the script, and then we improvise the rest of the play imagining what the characters from Under the Bridge's past and future stories were. 'Under the Bridge' is by Neil Zoladkiewicz. It is a recent play - set in a city. It tells the story of a group of homeless people. It tries to rid you of prejudices you may have towards homeless people and shows how it can happen easily to even the most respectful people. It shows how not all homeless people are thieves, drug users, prostitutes and criminals. It is a very perceptive play and shows peoples feelings and is a really good eye opener and deals with some very important issues. 'Under the Bridge' is aimed at all ages really, but appeals to teenagers mostly, as it deals with issues that are very real to people of our age and probably effect us more than adults. ...read more.


However when Dave is kicked out of his home when he is drunk, we show how powerless he is, by kneeling at his wife's feet, begging her not to throw him out. This is a very simple yet effective technique to use. They wish they were protected and confined, where they could break free from their drug problems. In both stories there is a motherly figure that cares for them and fusses over them. In 'Junk' this is Vonny, but in 'Under the Bridge' this is 'Girl'. Girl tries to protect Karen from Dave when he is drunk. We show her motherly tendencies when she leans over Karen, and stops Dave from hitting her. She also stands up fro her when Dave is abusing her. In both alcohol is a problem. In 'Under the Bridge', Dave is an alcoholic who becomes violent when drunk. He casts an awkward atmosphere over the group and Karen is scared of him, we showed this when she flinches when she is near him, and avoids him at all costs. In 'Junk' it becomes a problem when arguments break out. In our own piece we show a flash back of Dave when he is being kicked out of his house by his wife. He has been coming home drunk every night for weeks. So it is drink that really ruined his life. He began to drink in the first place because of money problems he was having. ...read more.


We tried to use as many dramatic techniques as possible in our performance. We use a conscience, freeze frames, flash backs, re-winds and monologues. We thought this added to the play and made it more interesting than just straight acting as that can become really boring very quickly. When I am on stage on my own as Karen, as I quite often am, I speak to myself out loud. I kneel to look vulnerable but look above me as if I am trying to talk to God. I sit with my hands clutched in my knee, this shows my nervousness for life. I am also uncertain about what I want, I often argue with myself, foir instance "I have to go home", "No I can never go home". My life is breaking apart basically. In conclusion I would like to say that I learnt a lot about homelessness, and how prejudices are easily picked up, with out really knowing enough about issues such as drugs and homelessness to be able to judge people on. I think that 'Junk' and 'Under the Bridge' are really eye opening stories, and I, before I read them thought of myself as quite a broad minded person, but reading these made me realise that I'm really quite narrow-minded. Understanding these people helped my contribution to my performance as I could really act out the feelings Karen would have been having and how awful the things were she was going through. I thought this was a really good assessment topic, and I enjoyed doing it. ...read more.

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