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Theatre Review of Blue Remembered Hills

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Introduction

Theatre Review of Blue Remembered Hills On the 6th of February 2008, Dennis Potters wartime play 'Blue Remembered Hills was performed to approximately 100 people at Birmingham's Crescent Theatre. As a well established theatre and production company I had very high hopes and expectations which were unexpectedly shattered by the amateur acting and ridiculous staging. Blue Remembered Hills is an intellectual play exploring a day in the life of seven young children during the war. As the performance is in 'real time' no non-naturalistic techniques are used to portray neither the children's actions nor emotions. The play follows their fights, squabbles and play, and climaxes when a victimized character by the name of Donald, creates his own game of pyromania in a barn. Potter once said "When we dream of childhood we take our present selves with us, it is not the adult world writ small; childhood is the adult world writ large" judging from this statement the main issue within the play is self explanatory... the relationship and similarities between adults and children are a lot more alike than people are led to believe. It is as if Potter is communicating the lack of understanding in our lives through his choice of adult actors. ...read more.

Middle

other blocks included a duck, jam jars and a squirrel, a barn door could also be constructed using the blocks. The most effective use of the blocks was during the end scene where all of the blocks apart from 2 were constructed into a barn and pushed together by the children to symbolize them shutting the barn door on Donald and the fire... the remaining 2 were situated together showing an image of a fire and a burnt duck, these symbolized Donald burning in the fire. Although I believe the blocks were a great idea I think the movement was not executed appropriately as it often disturbed the performance: blocks were sometimes positioned incorrectly which sometimes changed the effectiveness I believe a physical theatre piece would have made the movements and transitions more effective. I found that the costumes used were very appropriate to the era yet in some cases not to the characters. Raymond However I found that Peter and Willies costumes were the wrong way round. There were no masks or make up used, apart from a minute usage of character make up on Donald to create his scars and wounds, I believe this enabled us to visually see the neglect he suffers. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example during the opening scene a slideshow was shown with images from the war. This got us emotionally involved with the play's background foundations and meaning, however this was under false pretences and we were easily led away from being emotionally attached by the unnecessary singing. Overall I would only give this play 6 out of 10. Only half of the cast suited their characters which in my opinion ruined the whole performance. No lighting was used which clearly symbolized both the producers and directors lack of understanding for the drama median. Levels were totally he wrong way round as it is obvious that those with a higher status should be on a higher level. Peter who has the highest status is sat at the lowest level, whereas the weakest character of Donald is at the highest point. The performance was savored by Angela 'Julie Chapman' whom kept her character believable throughout, all credit to her. The production team really needs to rethink their strategies before producing yet another 'flop' production. Gimmicks should be 'out' and more aspects of the drama median added. The production elements throughout the piece were not though through and were therefore a shamble... the lighting was none existing, sound inappropriate, costumes mixed up, and the staging absurd. An all round mess and a disgrace to its talented playwright. Hayley Anstee ...read more.

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