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A Cream cracker under the settee.

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Introduction

"A Cream cracker under the settee" wrote by Alan Bennett. Written for television a television script, a cream cracker under the settee is one of six commissioned by the BBC in 1987. Collectively they were called "talking Heads". Each of the plays unfolds the story of one central character by using their spoken thoughts. Bennet explores various themes in the plays, each monologue is the story of the events that change a person's life, some are tragic, some are humorous, all explore themes which skilfully use dramatic devices to keep and maintain the audience's interest to think about and respond to when they watch the plays. A dramatic monologue is a play which there is only one performer. The dramatic monologue was poetic form perfected and exploited by Robert Browning although earlier poems exhibited many of its characteristics. It resembles the soliloquy where a character in a play utters his thoughts aloud. But in a stage soliloquy, the speaker addresses other characters and even the audience; the conversation is that the audience overhears him/her talking to themselves. "A cream cracker" is set in the home of Doris an elderly lady at the age of seventy-five, it is mainly situated in the living room of her semi-detached house, but does stray to her hall. The play begins when the camera fades up to a view of Doris sat awkwardly on a low chair rubbing her leg, in the morning. ...read more.

Middle

Facial features are essential in defining one mood from another and the feelings and emotions of the character to get the audience more involved. Alan Bennett uses dramatic devices to good effect to keep the audience attentive and interested, such as pauses...during pauses...moments when nothing happens or is said...the audience share Doris's feelings, N.B. pause at line 112...young boy...realise a chance has gone. Will she get another? Doris's character engages the interest of the audience, through her recollections, we get a picture of Wilfred's character and their marriage. Doris also brings to life for the audience the other characters e.g. Zulema and Wilfred. This is done by Doris recollecting and imitating their voices and remembering conversations:- * Device for keeping audience interested in action, * Gives actress a chance to vary the tone of the lines and suggest the characters she is remembering. E.g. line 10, "...the Ewbank is out of bounds." Imitating Zulema. Tension is created briefly at certain moments when the audience wonder if she will be rescued and helped. As time draws on increasingly the audience become involved since they have learnt a great deal about Doris and can sympathise with her predicament. * The arrival of the policeman is a turning point and creates tension. The writer uses humour to change the mood and helps keep the interest of the audience. Doris has a well developed sense of humour. ...read more.

Conclusion

more attention to her and no other people, and we get to know her a lot better and we don't get confused with characters, but since she is the only character in this it is a lot harder for the director because the play may seem bossing for the actor/actress :- they have to be on there own all the way through the play, and it isn't very exciting just one person, there isn't much variation. The ending of the play is interesting and creates a feeling of confusion because you don't exactly know what has happened to Doris, is she ok? Or has she passed away in the night? It also creates a feeling or sorrow ness for Doris thinking that that could be anyone of our relatives or even us one day. I think, sadly she passed away in the night, because it sounds like she had broken her leg and in line 156 "this one's going numb now." Like her whole body will soon be paralysed and she will not be able to do anything. Thus, I consider Bennett's choice of a dramatic monologue in this play as interesting and challenging for the writer, actress, director and audience. By his skilful use of dramatic devices he successfully overcomes potential problems in maintaining interest. I don't normally like things like this but the way Alan Bennett produced this masterpiece I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Page 1 By Lee Holmes 10 N ...read more.

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