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What is 'A Cream Cracker under the settee' really about and how does it work as a drama

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Introduction

Claire Thomas What is 'A Cream Cracker under the settee' really about and how does it work as a drama? The subject of the drama is about an old, lonely woman called Doris, who is isolated in her own home. All the way through the play she is making gradual steps in deciding to die. She regrets not having children because her husband has died and her only baby was still born. She doesn't know many people anymore. She used to know Mrs and Mr Marsden, who lived across the street, but they moved away and families started moving in. She is scared of going into Stafford House. You can tell this because she says that they 'smell of pee'. This shows that she will smell of pee if se goes into a home. The play is written in a monologue, which means there is only one person in the half an hour play. She talks about her life, the past and present. When she starts getting upset the camera zooms in to show her emotions in a close-up shot. The play was written in 1987 and the actors were Thora Hird as Doris and Steven Beard as Policeman. (You don't actually see him). There are many ways in which Doris comes to the conclusion that she wants to die. Doris is growing old and her body life is coming to an end. ...read more.

Middle

You can tell this because she says 'they don't get called Doris now. Alice and Doris, Mabel and Gladys. Antiques'. This shows us that people don't call them old, museum names anymore. People in the 20th century are called James, Paul and Sam etc now. In the next generation the names will change again. This shows language is always changing from century to century. Doris' characterisation is made by the writer, actor and director. Doris makes some of the text up herself. You can tell by 'a kiddy'. She changes it from the script and in the play she says 'a baby'. This shows us that she changes it to feel more like the character. She feels from her personal experience that it will come across better if she charges it so she feels more comfortable with it. She is constantly talking to the audience to show that she is isolated. If someone was there it doesn't have the same effect that she is old, lonely and rapidly decaying. You can tell she is decaying by her actions as she eats the cream cracker she finds under the settee. She is so tired a weak she can't bring herself to get something to eat. The monologue makes Doris talk to the audience through the camera as if they are confidante. She is talking to them as an individual. ...read more.

Conclusion

This tells us the small confined space Doris has to stay in all day on her own. This shows her life is within the smaller space around the kitchen and the bathroom. In the second scene she is sitting with back to the door. This tells us that she has moved, so if someone comes to the door she will be able to get help. The camera is faced down from her in a high angle shot to show that she has less authority than the audience. She is useless and should be treated like a little child. She has been left crumpled to the position by the door because her legs have given in. The play wouldn't be very effective as a radio play because she is completely isolated and it wouldn't have the same feeling. Hird is a fantastic actor and you would miss out on her emotions and her body language. The story of Doris affects me in some ways. My Grandma is 71, but she is not as isolated as much as Doris. At least one relative, me or my brother does her shopping and go there as much as we can. She can not walk as she is waiting for a hip replacement so getting cups of teas every time I go up there is getting on my nerves! It has made me realise to respect the elderly because one day I will be old and I won't want to be dumped in a home where they stink of pee! ...read more.

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