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GCSE Drama: The development phase

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GCSE Drama Paper 1 Unit 2 Task 1- Response Phase Our group started working on 'Table Manners', one of a trio of plays in 'The Norman Conquests', written by Alan Ayckbourn. We used the following explorative strategies; Role-Play, Hot-Seating, Thought-Tracking and Still Image, to further enhance our understanding and appreciation of the characters in the play. Still Image: For this explorative strategy, we were split into two groups, and we were to portray all six characters, as if they were in a waxwork museum. We exaggerated features of our character, to make it easier for the other group to identify our characters. As individuals, we focused on our body language, facial expression, but as a group we tried using our proximity to show the character's personality and attributes. We showed this, by depicting Norman as being the 'gigolo' he says he is in the play, and by having his arm around Annie, looking extremely confident, but still longing for Ruth, as he was still looking at her in admiration. ...read more.


We tried three different techniques of thought-tracking, and the method we chose as the most effective was where the speaker started speaking quieter, but carried on his actions. As I was Reg, just as I started my long speech, I 'turned down my volume', but still carried on my actions, as Tom started thinking about Annie out loud. This showed how disinterested Tom was with Reg's speech, while he worried about Annie. This part of the scene was just after Annie shouted at Tom, for not asking her to this weekend with him. The other member in my group portrayed Tom as being very lost, and bewildered and very confused as to why Annie just shouted at him. His facial expression was very blank, and he furrowed his brow very often to show his misunderstanding of the situation. This explorative strategy helped us to understand Tom's point of view and also improved our understanding of Reg's character and personality. Role-play: For this explorative strategy, we first created a 'watering hole' in the middle of the room by putting together chairs in the shape of a rectangle. ...read more.


The situation I chose to be in was in the library. While I was putting away books on a shelf, the other members of my group asked me questions, ones that would instigate Norman's character. The type of questions I got asked were mainly about love and my marriage with Ruth. I never admitted that our marriage wasn't working, always reassuring them that we were truly in love ever since we met, I also tried adding in the fact that Norman thinks he's a 'gigolo' and boasting about the number of women he has slept with, trying to convince them that everyone, especially women, love him. I also got asked how Ruth and Norman met, and I made up an extremely complicated and romantic story, even though it was probably not true and completely over the top. This explorative strategy helped us think of character's diction, putting ourselves into someone else's shoes, and how and what the character is thinking about. These explorative strategies helped us immensely as the different exercises demanded us to focus on different aspects of drama. All the exercises captured our response to the play, but also improved our understanding of both, the play and the characters. Word Count- 1017 ...read more.

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