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GCSE: Blood Brothers
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The play we saw was Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre in London. It was the 3pm viewing on the 5th November 2009.
They do this by slightly cutting each others hand and shaking hands so that their blood is together. Mrs Lyons discovers that Eddie is mixing with Mickey. She then realises that the last name is the same and that Eddie must be the other twin. Still believing in the superstition that twins separated at birth should never meet, Mrs Lyons decides to move house. When Eddie says goodbye to Mrs Johnstone, she gives him a locket with a picture of herself and Mickey. Eddie is oblivious that Mrs Johnstone is his actual mother. Thinking that they will never see Eddie and Mrs Lyons again; by chance Mrs Johnstone and her family get re-housed in the countryside.
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Blood Brothers Evaluation. After we watched Blood Brothers, we acted out certain scenes from the script and attempted to use various techniques to portray the story in many different ways.
It also witnesses their first meetings as children. This part of the play is very comedic, however the frequent use of the narrator (who plays a paramount role throughout the play) quickly shifts what appears to be a funny scene into a dark and eerie one. The second act sees the reunion of the brothers, now hit with puberty, and an increasing sense of competition. Although initially positive, the story takes a turn for the worse when Mickey is badly affected by the poor economy of the 80s, and turns to crime as a source of income.
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- The importance of the Narrator The narrator had an important role in the play, dressed in a black suit and tie he was easily recognised and was constantly there. Acting as a reader, telling the audience what happens at every intersection, explaining through both singing and talking. The fact that he was seen by all whilst the protagonists acted, this created an element of suspense, as the audience was itching to know what he has to say next.
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Blood Brothers. In my essay I will discuss the way the actors played the roles of Mickey and Edward and how they interacted together on stage in the scene
I am going to talk about the way the actors projected their voice, their movement on stage, the characterisation and relationships between characters on stage. The scene that I'm referring to is the scene in which Mickey and Edward become blood brothers. The only characters in the scene are Mickey and Edward. In this scene the actors who played as Mickey and Edward were grown men acting as children. The actors acted well because their facial expressions were rather childish and their voices were louder and higher pitched.
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In this scene the lighting is really dim, which reflects on Mikey's thought processes which are slow and aged. You can see from this scene that prison has aged Mickey beyond doubt. Sean Jones playing Mickey used movement and his voice to really portray Mickey's vulnerability. Mickey's movements were slow and it seemed like every step he took was agony. His speech was slow, and his voice was extremely quiet. He walked hunched over, as if trying to protect himself from an unknown fear and his face was mostly expressionless, showing that he had no feelings left, as if he was just a body without a spirit or soul inside.
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lower class to upper class, it showed that you could only be born into your classes and you stayed in that class for the rest of your life. We had a use of level to show that the upper class were stronger than the lower class as the upper class were standing above the lower class. Because the upper class were standing above the lower class and because the lower class were kneeling, firstly it symbolized that the upper class were stronger than the lower class and secondly it showed that the upper class had a higher authority in society compared to the lower class.
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Then as the other characters gradually left the stage and the police took away the dead bodies the spotlight came on the narrator as he introduces the play. The live production of the play was entertaining and some spectacular acting performances bought the play to life. Craig Price - who was playing the narrator was one of them, he did a good job of acting scary and mysterious lurking around in the background of every scene. Then constantly appearing behind Mrs Lyons and Mrs Johnston scaring them and acting like their conscious shouting, "the devil's got your number."
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I played the character of Taylor using some techniques such as walking in the way that a teenage boy would walk and also raising the tone of my voice to make me seem a lot more superior and also talking louder than I normally would. I tried to base that character of Taylor like the character of Tony Elliot, Billy's older brother. The actor who played Tony showed his power and authority by raising his voice and he seemed like the type of person who would break the rules but he was very loyal to the miners on strike by not caving in because he needed the money he continued with his work mates.
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The Use of Sound/Music In the play, music was used to demonstrate the certain state of mind that character was in. For example, when Mickey is playing outside his house, the music is very childlike and harmless. But when Mickey is older and his mind is not stable, the music quickly changes tempo and always sounds jumpy and sudden. I think this helped to express how the character might have been feeling that couldn't have been expressed through facial expressions or body language.
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Overall I find "Blood Brothers" a great script because the plot is deep and tense by also incredibly touching to the audience. We also went to se "Blood Brothers" stage show at The Phoenix Theatre in London, and was performed by the Ambassador Theatrical Company. My first reaction to the theatre was that it was really small but also really cosy and welcoming. The colour theme win the theatre was deep red velvet which immediately made me think of suspense and drama and this was enhanced by the eerie red lighting cast on the gauze.
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He also sat with his legs wide open in the middle of the street to show he had no care of what people think of him. When this was accompanied by the far too big hand me down clothes from his brother, Anthony Costa really looked and acted like a young boy. Throughout the first few scenes of the play he continued to do so by again playing games with his neighbours and friends and being generally cheeky to elders.
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Willy Russell was born in Liverpool and left school at the age of fifteen, therefore he has an idea of what life in Liverpool was like. Both plays are based around the same idea of broken dreams. The bouncers wish away their lives and are stuck in a dead-end job working long hours for low pay. Blood Brothers also is based around broken dreams as Mickey dreams of the high life, living with Linda but he then gets into trouble with the law and his dreams are smashed.
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Through this, Ms Lyons plays on Mrs Johnston superstitious nature. The use of props and setting bettered my understanding of the play and revealed the messages the writer was trying to convey. Because the stage was split into two different areas, the rich side and the poor side, this helped me to distinguish the differences in class. For example, Ms Johnston's house was one out of several flats that had broken windows and chipped paint across front doors; this became symbolic of the fact she was underprivileged.
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To explore this, we created a series of three still images that featured Eddie, Mickey and Linda using different postures, voice, levels and proxemics to explore their ages, character emotions and the relationship between the characters at that point. In the first image, we used the elements of drama aforementioned to connote that the characters were children. We were all close together with Eddie slightly further away which showed they had a strong friendship at that stage. This use of proxemics during the strategy of 'still image' helped us to understand that they were all close friends when they were children.
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These ranged from Mrs Johnstone cleaning at the start, to Mrs Lyons waving her arms in argument. We did this to give the effect of emphasising Mrs Lyons' frustration and madness and to add more visual interest for the audience. It proved very effective as it made the scene more dramatic and evocative. Climax- The climax in our piece was near the end where Mrs Johnstone swears on the Bible to give a twin to Mrs Lyons. We built up tension which lead to this by increasing volume and the tone of frustration in our voices. Reece whom played Mrs Lyons used a more pleading tone whereas I used a more frustrated tone.
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From the point it is all a sort of flashback as to how this happed. It starts with the twins biological mother, a pregnant Mrs Johnston who has just had her husband walk out on her on their seven children, she is struggling to make ends meet as things are and with another on the way she doesn't know how she's going to survive. She is of working class and has a cleaning job for the rich, upper class Mrs Lyons. When Mrs Lyons, who can't have children of her own finds out that Mrs Johnston is having twins, she lures the vulnerable Mrs Johnston into giving away one of them.
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Mickey appears with a black eye and eye contact with the floor. His character maintains a motionless facial expression as if he is completely numb. Edward greets him with open arms and a warm smile and Mickey remains numb, not even acknowledging Edwards's presence. Edward begins to spark up a conversation and tells him about university, his new group of friends, his love life and studies as Mickey still remains mute. Edward continues to ramble on as Mickey all of a sudden comes out with "How's Linda?" Edward answers him, with gratitude, being shocked by his response.
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near the baby. Carlyle was positioned stage right in relation with Mari Webb who was staged left. Carlyle moved back away from Webb to show that she didn't want her near the child and in doing that, she clutched the child close to her. Carlyle effectively used the idea that she didn't want Webb. Webb Carlyle Audience Another example is when Mickey (Sean Jones)
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As the play goes on this opposite relationship is changed and the similarities of the two are made clearer. Blood Brothers also attempt to show the large gap in society between the first class and the working class people, showing a great deal of status differences. We could see this by the language used by Mrs Lyons, the props used on stage and the characters appearance. This was especially noticeable between Eddie and Mickey. Other characters in the play include Mr Lyons and Linda who is a friend of the two brothers.
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3) The structural devices used in the play were tableaux, flashbacks, flashforwards and a narrator. The play was a nonlinear play as it went from ending to beginning then middle and back to the end. 4) There was a cast of 14 actors and actress's. 6 of them stayed in the roles all the through and the rest had multi-roles. 5) The play was very imaginatively set out. The used the space well. The set used balconies and multiple backgrounds.
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In the beginning of this tragic play, the stage directions pointedly indicate Alfieri's desk at the right forestage. His desk is significant from beginning to end as it symbolizes justice. It does this by its positioning. It acts like the Brooklyn Bridge, a 'divider' between Brooklyn and Manhattan. In the plays context Alfieri's desk acts as this 'divider' also showing Alfieri is not only a mediator, but the only character that looks at a certain situation before objecting. Indeed at the beginning of the play Alfieri stated, "Justice is very important here" this quotation made me think he was giving a clue to his audience-what the theme was and what the subtext of the situation was related to.
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Eddie and Mickey meet almost as if they are meant to, and instantly take a liking to one another. When they lose contact, they meet again, proving they are supposed to be as a pair. The lyrics in 'you know the devil's got your number' are also repeated throughout the song, saying that no matter what, fate is going to happen wherever the characters are living or whatever they are doing. Finally, social class is the third key theme in this play. All the time we are being reminded, either by speech, accents or clothing, of how different these characters are to each other.
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Just then their birth mother, Mrs Johnstone runs in and tells them they're brothers. Mickey gets upset over not being the one to get given away and accidentally pulls the trigger. Immediately the police shoot Mickey dead so that both brothers are dead. The story is made to seem more realistic using the set. The first one is made to show a typical area of Liverpool with tall buildings in the background. One side represents the poor side of Liverpool where mickey lives and the other represents the rich side where eddie lives. The rich side has much grander buildings than the poor side showing the social inequality of the two families.
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My group showed the narrator as quite a sad character, as if she was looking down on the play with a pity for the characters, and hints for the audience has to what might happen next or explain what has just happened. In another scene that we did with Mickey Eddie and Linda, when they were quite young and were out having fun, before they had to work for a living and really knew the horrors that could happen in life, we played Mickey has a very happy and playful character, and Eddie as the more worrying uptight character, this
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It creates tension as we wait for the other characters to be introduced. The narrator tells us of two twins separated at birth, only to brought together and die. He constantly reminds us of their fate with songs as soliloquy. The play was structured well, grabbing the audiences' attention from the very beginning, with the death scene of Eddie and Mickey. It creates tension amongst the audience as we hadn't yet been told who was dead or how it happened. The actors and lighting show a big divide in the socio-economic status between them.
- Word count: 1364