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Knock Against My Heart

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Review for: Knock Against My Heart At the Unicorn Theatre on Wednesday 15th October 2008 This hour-long play, written by Oladipo Agboluaje and developed by Theatre Centre in collaboration with the highly acclaimed Brazilian theatre company Nos de Morro, is set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro is the base for this company, so the play was partly spoken in Portuguese with English translation. Having been told this beforehand, I expected it to be mainly in English but with Shakespearian language as the writer made known that play storyline was drawn form The Tempest. The Unicorn Theatre isn't a very big theatre in terms of size and mainly aims their plays at a younger audience so I thought the storyline would be simple to understand with likable characters and audience interaction. With inspiration from Shakespeare's play The Tempest, Knock Against My Heart focuses on many poignant issues such as betrayal, passion, revenge and just. It also explores power, freedom and manipulation. It tells the story of a dominant father, Prospero who is hungry for power of the land's irrigation system but is also father to the innocent Miranda. The mysterious Caliban, who control's the town's water source, is battling with Prospero for freedom of himself and his people, yet successfully seduces Miranda, much to her fathers dislike. Meanwhile Prospero's brother, Antonio provides comical entertainment with a secret motive. ...read more.


This gave us the impression that he was an animal, a panther to be specific, so more symbolism was used here. Most of these journeys took place in the night so this suggested that he was sneaking around trying to be quiet. This suggests that he is cunning because he tries so hard to be quiet and not to wake Prospero and Antonio. Panthers do these actions when preparing to attack their prey. By De Paula copying this, he made the audience feel as though he was spying on Miranda, as if she were his prey. Other actions, such as back flips, forward rolls and leaping across the stage, also contributing in creating the panther side to Caliban. I like the way in which De Paula's emotion during the play was very varied. He changed from to another clearly and effectively by his change of facial expressions and change in gestures and movements. When Caliban was content, he would smile and move quite slow and gently. His tone of voice was calmer and he didn't use his hands to enhance what he was saying and his emotion. I liked the continual way Caliban would point his finger at Prospero and raise his voice. This let the audience know that he was angry and frustrated with Prospero and wanted his attention. His voice change told us that Caliban had a short temper and made us fearful of him when he came up close to the audience. ...read more.


Whitehorse generally kept a good connection between her and other characters, because not only did the rapport between her and De Paula work well, the rapport between her and Santinho seemed real too. The audience could see that Miranda and Prospero were daughter and father and Whitehorse acted this well. The way in which she spoke to her father was very childish for a daughter as old as she was portrayed. This suggested that she still wanted her father to treat her as a child at home but wanted a little more freedom outside. Although parents and children often disagree, I feel that Whitehorse didn't play the role of an upset teenager as well as her other emotions. She just resided to her bedroom weeping and then suddenly started begging Antonio to let her out. I feel that the way in which she did this was very cunning and totally out of character. I did like the way in which Whitehorse moved on stage when she was a dove. She began to move very awkward and jerkily as she was just getting to grips. However her face was serious and she was determined to master the gracefulness of a dove. As the play went on, Whitehorse grew more graceful and I think this was symbolised by the tree next to Miranda's bedroom. In the end she performs the role of a dove very easily and dreamily by her at moving faster pace and in a larger space. Silence for under-water then noise for above. ...read more.

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