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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Drama
  • Word count: 7457

GCSE Drama Coursework - Billy Liar Section One: The Response PhaseFor the response phase we worked on three sections of the play to discover and understand

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GCSE Drama Coursework - Billy Liar Section One: The Response Phase For the response phase we worked on three sections of the play to discover and understand the family relationships in particular the development and changes of Geoff and Billy's complex relationship. We looked at firstly at the opening scene, then at act two and finally act three, the end of the play. In the response phase we used various explorative strategies in order to widen our understanding of the play and help us analyse themes and relationships in greater depth. 1. The opening scene. Role play - A typical family are seated around the breakfast table; a mum, dad, grandparent and two teenagers. Each has their own agenda and are focused on talking about their own topic, not really noticing or listening to each other. Our role play demonstrated something that all the audience, to an extent, should be able to relate to: the basic set up of a stereotypical family; the moody teenagers; staying out late, always after money, arguing and rebelling against parents, school and work. The elderly grandparent; constantly mumbling endless and boring stories about 'back in their day'. The father; the man of the house, the money earner, providing for the family. Finally we have the mother; the housewife, constantly fussing, cooking and cleaning and doing all the household chores with no help and no thanks. Performing the role play; each character was so wound up in themselves and their personal thoughts that they were very much talking at each other or at times to themselves rather than to each other, conveying an obvious lack of communication, confusion, frustration and a tense atmosphere. None of the characters payed a great deal of attention to each other; the overlapping speech and unrelated dialogue helped to convey the frustration and tense atmosphere. This role play was used really to get the mood across to the audience and provide some insight to each character rather than the meaning of the conversation or develop a plot. ...read more.


Billy and Geoffrey's relationship is considerably worse towards the end of the play and Geoffrey is back to his old self. Geoffrey acts like he doesn't care but he does seem to want him to stay and uses the excuse that he has to pay back the money as a reason for him to stay as he doesn't know how to tell him how he feels. Once again however, his temper gets the better of him and he ends up telling him to go as he has had enough of him. Billy doesn't want to leave on bad terms and does try to rectify things with his father. There is a point near the end of the play where Billy has two fairly long speeches that really help you to understand both, Billy, Geoffrey and their relationship when Billy talks about his education and how he never received praise or support and just had to be grateful for everything. It is here that the generation gap is very apparent again and difference in upbringing. It is due to these things that they misunderstand each other and have very different values. Internal monologue - for this explorative strategy we performed a short monologue for both Alice and Geoffrey summing up how they felt about Billy moving to London. In Alice's monologue she talked about how worried she was about Billy and how much she was going to miss him. Geoffrey is also sad that he went and regrets telling him to go but doesn't know how to rectify the mistake. In a way though, Geoff feels a kind of respect for Billy as he actually followed something through and told the truth and thinks that the experience could make him more mature. Neither of them entirely believed that it was true until they read the letter and the reality sunk in. This strategy helped to understand how Alice and Geoffrey truly felt about Billy at the end of the play when he has finally done something with himself. ...read more.


At this point they both seemed to relax and let their guards down a bit, the physical closeness here reflected the emotional closeness. At this point there was a lot of positive body language and less fidgeting. They were both facing towards each other and occasionally managing to meet eye contact. The closeness was conveyed well to the audience but it is made clear that this is a very rare occurrence meaning that they were both still wary and unsure of themselves therefore there was still some tension conveyed and there was still a barrier between them. Jeremy and Liz took their time in building up to this point, which was very effective; they did it slowly enough to convey the tension without being too slow and loosing the interest of the audience. When Florence starts interrupting at the height of their closeness, Billy finds it hard to hide his annoyance and Jeremy showed this through his facial expressions.and rolling off the eyes. When she continued to interrupt his impatience and annoyance became less discreet and the tension was built up once again, very quickly through his expressions and movement. When Billy suddenly exploded at Florence, the pace quickened and the volume increased drastically. Both Billy and Geoffrey were standing at this point and after Billy's initial explosive reaction to Florence he cowered and looked worried under Geoffrey's reaction in which he came at Billy quickly and at full height and volume, showing power and conveying the fact that he was still the parent and was still in control, leaving no trace of the closeness. All this happened very quickly contrasting to the beginning, conveying the fact that it took them so long to work up to the point of closeness but it was all shattered in a matter of seconds. The performance went well and they used space, levels and timing to great effects. They conveyed the awkwardness of the situation really well as well as giving us great insight into the relationship of Geoffrey and Billy and personal details about each character. ?? ?? ?? ?? Karys Webber ...read more.

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