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GCSE Drama Course Work A03 Response to Live Performance

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Introduction

GCSE Drama Course Work A03 Response to Live Performance '1984' by George Orwell at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol Northern Broadsides Theatre Company 25 November 2010 Pre-Show On entering the Tobacco Factory, the atmosphere felt immediately related to 1984, the performance I was about to see. Through heavy wooden doors, the dim lights glinted off the golden 'HELLO' printed on the glass panels. Although the look about the place was quite modern, I couldn't help but feel like I'd been hurtled into the past. The floors were a hard, cold metal, the ceiling was framed with colored pipes, and inspiring posters of plays yet to come filled the walls. Walking into a short corridor, completely painted black, washed away any biased opinions from the outside world, and then passing through a doorway bought the audience straight onto the stage, the same level as the rows of pews and red plastic chairs to sit on. The whole experience was very austere, stepping right into a rural bombed war zone, everything dim and grey. It really set the mood for the performance. Set The set was a combination of the colors grey, green and brown, all of them dark shades, bleak and lifeless. ...read more.

Middle

However, it was refreshing at the same time. Costumes The costumes were, at the start, simply grey, plain jumpsuits. However, as the play progressed and more characters emerged, tiny significant details began to appear. The main idea, I think, of the jumpsuits, was to show that in 1984 individualism was over run by society. However, as we learned more about different people and their views, little pieces of their personality are seen in the costumes. For example, Julia's red sash symbolized danger, love, and her bold nature, while Winston wore a jumpsuit that was a slightly different color to the rest of the characters, which symbolised however hard Winston tried to be good and follow the rules, there would always be parts of him that didn't want to be the same as everybody else. For a more understandable reason, the slight changes of costume helped identify the different characters the actors played. They helped us relate well to the characters, and understand their actions better, which makes the performance so much easier to follow. Lighting Although during 1984 lighting never seemed important, or even noticeable, remembering the changes of brightness and color for each scene reminded me just how much it contributed to the mood of the performance. ...read more.

Conclusion

Most of my peers enjoyed it, some of them not quite used to the openness of the play, but while some see it as a negative, I think it as a huge positive. Movement Movement was a vital part of the performance. It had to be beautifully executed, but used well, which the actors in 1984 did. Some uses included the movements the actors did in cannon, for example when Winston was in his work cubical, the other characters did individual actions that created a very realistic setting. Characters also used movement to make their personalities stand out, like their posture, or their walk. The actors also used movement to show their emotions, for example the prostitute slumped and leaned in all directions, giving subtle hints that she was possibly drunk. Throughout the whole show, movement was used excellently. Conclusion Overall, I believe the strongest aspect of the performance was the actors, and the way they changed from character to character. It was unique, and made the play special. I have seen performances before that use the same technique, however I have never seen it so expertly done, and so many character changes in such a short amount of time. The show 1984 was a pleasure to watch and unique. Not holding back made the performance truly incredible and will remain one of my favorites. Natasha Young Natasha Young ...read more.

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