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As an actor, outline your approach to the development of the role of Ralph in Act One of "Our country's Good" "Our Country's Good" is a naturalistic drama written by Timberlake Wertenbaker

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As an actor, outline your approach to the development of the role of Ralph in Act One of "Our country's Good" "Our Country's Good" is a naturalistic drama written by Timberlake Wertenbaker, based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally. The play is based on the first penal colony in Australia in 1788-89. The plot is about the first fleet of convicts to the land Australia. It is about the triumph of the human spirit. It is about real people living in a foreign and unfamiliar place, surviving against all odds. Throughout the play, one sees the convicts transform from unrefined brutes into civilized human beings with self worth through putting on a production of "The Recruiting Officer" (a play within a play). Through this creative project the convicts not only learn to care bout a creative product they can be proud of, but also about each other. The officers are as well are awakened to the fact that the convicts are not simply savages but people with real minds who are open to new ways of thinking. The Given Circumstances for Ralph's character are: he is a young lower status officer who is anxious for a promotion, which influences him to offer to run the play as he sees it as an opportunity to get noticed by the Governor Philips. ...read more.


Thus, to demonstrate him concocting a plan, he should adopt of quizzical facial expression with slightly glazed over eyes showing him thinking, with an enquiring toned voice. There is a slight comical element to this interaction, as Harry is trying to talk about his guilty feelings to Ralph, yet Ralph becomes completely preoccupied in his own selfish intentions; to get Philip to notice him. This is fully exemplified when Harry says "I have shocked you, haven't I? I'll go.", and Ralph responds with "Is His Excellency serious about putting on a play?", thus indicating that he has not been paying attention to what Harry has been saying. Ralph should thus have a glazed over, inattentive look during Harry's dialogue, with a contemplative expression conveying him absorbed in his own plans. "No, Harry. You did not kill Handy Baker". Ralph's voice here should sound bored and detached, not bothering to look him in the eyes, to convey a sense that he does not really care about Harry's feelings. His final line "Harry, you won't forget to talk to His Excellency about the play" should be wheedling and sweet toned, manipulating Harry to benefit himself. Thus, this scene presents Ralph as an unsympathetic, disturbed, and selfish character who disregards the feelings of Harry and only thinks about how he may profit from the play. ...read more.


Ralph should initially try to stand up to the officers, allowing the audience to warm to him, and characterising the transformation power of the play on his character even in its earliest stages. Thus, his tone should have a defiant edge "I don't see what the play-", with a cold voice at a steady pace, incorporating a sense of power. Here, Ralph is indirectly standing up for the criminals, and thus showing a growing humanity that is clearly lacking in the other two officers. However, upon hearing about the newly condemned convicts and the awful punishment that awaits Liz "Death by hanging", Ralph does not intervene, suggesting he is overwhelmed and their authority has collapsed his. He should thus convey a sense of vulnerability; collapsed posture, a pained facial expression, heavy breathing and avoiding eye contact with anyone. This creates a sympathetic audience reaction to Ralph, for even though he lacks the power to completely defy the officers, he is clearly affected on a human level to the treatment of the convicts. In outlining these two scenes, I aim to show a positive development in Ralph's character through his artistic project, from the disturbed, unhappy, unsympathetic man, completely emotionally disconnected to the criminals to a more enthusiastic, humane character, encouraging the criminals and even sticking up for them. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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