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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Drama
  • Word count: 6218

Drama Sparkleshark

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Sparkle Shark Coursework Amy Hudson In drama, we have recently been looking at a contemporary piece of youth theatre, Sparkleshark, by Philip Ridley. Sparkleshark is set on the junk-strewn roof of an inner-city tower block. This is the secret hideaway of Jake (14), where he goes to work on his stories. He's interrupted by Polly (14), who's more impressed by his stories than his rudeness, then by the trendily-dressed Natasha (15) and Carol (14) who copies everything Natasha does and wears; finally, to his terror, up come his tormentors, the self-obsessed Russell (15) 'the love muscle', his cohorts Buzz and Speed (both 14) and Shane (16), who they all regard with awe now he's left school for the outside world. Tough, trendy, heartless, they all think they know who they are, or need to be to survive. But they're in for the biggest surprise of their lives. When the girls try to protect Jake from the boys, he can only truly save himself and his dignity by weaving his best story yet; and this life- saver is so good that, despite themselves, they all not only want big parts in the roof-top enactment of its perils and mysteries, its trials and love quests, and its meetings with the Dragon Sparkleshark (played by Finn, 15) but will also find that they have formed new, unbelievable friendships and enjoyed the one thing they had been bullying people for. My first response to the play was that of slight confusion. On my first look through of the play the structure and main ideas weren't very apparent to me and I found the dialogue rather "cheesy". I felt that some of the lines sounded very much like statements, especially lines such as, "Look! I'm going to wear it in my hair." On my first read through of the play I did feel slightly confused by the story telling within the play and the character relationships had me rather baffled. ...read more.


Still Image and Thoughts Aloud To explore the play further and to show our understanding we had to develop a still-image and thoughts aloud, taken from a key moment in the play. I decided to pick a moment which isn't so much physical-theatre, because then our facial expressions and body language would have to very well thought-out to show the characters to the audience. For the still-image to work effectively we firstly decided to put each character into the frame, separately whilst the rest of the group directed their position and expression. After putting everyone in position, we acted out the small scene before the freeze, so that we could understand what was happening in the frame. The moment we decided to show was the beginning of the story telling, when Polly, Natasha and Carol are trying to get the boys interested in the story and take their minds off Jake. This part of the play is significant to the play, because it shows the audience the social status and relationships between the characters before there is any major change. Also our frame is just after a part which I felt was important; Shane had just overruled Russell's idea to dangle Jake over the edge, and instead had asked to hear the story. This shows the audience that although Russell has the strong fa´┐Żade, Shane has the final say. It also shows that Shane cares more than Russell and doesn't want to hurt Jake. I was Russell, so I had to show a still arrogant, but defeatist attitude because I have just been overruled in front of a group of a group of girls I was previously showing off too. At the time I am dangling Jake with one arm and looking back and trying to persuade Shane to change his mind. I did this by having a disappointed yet surprised facial expression, with wide eyes a slightly open, but down turning mouth. ...read more.


For example when he was asking questions, although they were rhetorical and addressed to the girls on stage, the audience felt obliged to think of the answer because of his open body language and heightened pitch at the end of the sentence. Also he added the extra boyish masculinity, which emphasised Russell's egotistical attitude, by deliberately deepening his voice too much, his wide legged stance, puffed chest and seriousness of what he was saying. This showed the audience that he takes himself overly seriously. On his entrance he stood centre stage, on a raised platform, which showed the audience his importance and he posed in correspondence to what he was saying. Other characters which I felt were played really well were Buzz and Speed. The two people that were playing them really understood the humour that those particular characters can add to the play. They didn't add too much comedy which worked well as the comic timing was effective. Also they portrayed the characters as slightly dumb, and if they were spoken to you could see that it took them a while to understand because they lowered their eyebrows and looked inquisitively at each other. The most effective part was probably when Buzz and Speed lifted Jake, because they did it with ease and it showed Jake's vulnerability to the audience. The costume in this performance worked quite well. They were all wearing different versions of the same uniform, which effectively showed the contrast in the social periods and aspects of the character, however if it was on costume alone, I doubt that I could have identified the character, mainly because the girls' outfits were too similar. They used physical theatre to engage the audience, and humour to keep the audience entertained. They showed a good understanding of the play and suggested a new element of humour that worked well in the performance. It communicated to the audience the main themes of bullying and social status and although different to our performance, they were both equally effective. ...read more.

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