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“A cream cracker under the settee” - Production Analysis

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The production is introduced to us at the start with a slow, lonely atmosphere. This is portrayed through the soft music, and the actual layout of the scene. My aim of this coursework is to analyse the production "A cream cracker under the settee" and show how it actions help support the character's words and situation. The production is based on an old woman named Doris, on the verge of being moved to a nursing home against her own will. She is portrayed to us as a bitter, stubborn old woman who feels her space is being invaded by her carer Zulema. The true context of who she really is, is shown later on in the production, and it is very different from the original view that we are given. The way she truly is, is shown through her past. The first scene is a shot of a room full of old-fashioned furniture and an old fashioned layout. The camera is in a diagonal shot of the room showing two arm chairs with the crochet rugs draped over the back of them. Behind the far armchair in the background there is a large window with net curtains, this is the only source of light in the room at the beginning of the scene. On the right hand side there is a small fireplace, with ornaments on the mantelpiece. You can also see a small sideboard with objects placed on it and a fallen buffet on the floor, with a smashed photo by the side. There are also other objects in the surroundings. The buffet and smashed photo puts forward to the audience that there has been some sort of accident, this grabs the audiences attention and generally makes them want to continue to watch more. The scene is opened with a soft gentle piece of music played by a single French horn; this suggests the monologue has a calm atmosphere. ...read more.


She then digresses into remembering who used to live there, as she does this she looks up and smiles as though she was trying to think back, and her age begins to show more because of the types of phrases she uses, "Mr and Mrs Marsden and Yvonne, the funny daughter." By funny, the audience would portray this as Yvonne maybe having Downs syndrome or another illness like that. Nowadays people don't tend to say that, as it can be considered as inconsiderate and rude, whereas back then when Doris was younger, people were never as aware of these things as we are nowadays. Doris then goes on to say, "Then she went and folks started to come and go. You lose track. I don't think they're married half of them. You see all sorts." This is a typical example of her age because as you get older your memory starts to go, and she cant remember who lives opposite her and also she says in a rather disgusted manner that half of them aren't married. The camera changes to a shot of all of Doris as she picks up the photo frame and says, "Now, Wilfred" It's as though Doris actually believes that Wilfred is still with her in that picture and that she believes that he can her what she is saying. She then goes on to say that she can nip her leg and nothing. The camera shows her doing this and Doris's facial expression is that of worry. She then pauses. Doris then starts to look up again with a happy smirk on her face as she starts to remember things about Wilfred again. She talks of all Wilfred's inventions, that never really got past the thinking stage. She talks about them in a joking way, and also once again includes in her dialogue what 'Wilfred' used to say. She says how Wilfred wanted a dog, but she didn't because she didn't want all the little hairs everywhere. ...read more.


All these things begin to tell us a bit about Doris and what she is like. The soft gentle French horn music played at the beginning and end of scenes suggests that Doris is a calm woman, who isn't one for socialising. It also maybe trying to suggest that the type of music that is being played (sad and depressing), maybe trying to symbolise Doris's character. The way the camera focuses on Doris, makes the audience concentrate just on her and not her surroundings. The way Doris talks to the camera put forwards to the audience that she may be a lonely person and has no one else to talk to. The way the camera is constantly changing shots of Doris the production more interesting. The zooming in and out makes you aware of Doris but also has you take in her surroundings building up more of a picture of Doris and what she is really like. The way the actress playing Doris imitates Zulema is in a very patronising manner, and the actions she does with them are also helping structure a picture of Doris. The tones of her voice is always changing, this at times shows her age. The camera moves to focus on different objects and areas when they are spoken in the monologue. This creates affect and adds more excitement to the production. Also how the camera zooms in slowly in on Doris creates tension. The facial expressions of Doris are very important, the sum up what sort of character Doris really is. The actress portrays this very well. She smirks a lot, which suggests to the audience that she has a wicked and childish side to her. The dramatic pauses Doris makes with her eyes closed, also shows us her age. The fact that she is getting old and can't take things as much as she used to. The overall production was well produced and showed us, the audience many different aspects of Doris, through many different techniques. ...read more.

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