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What techniques and devices does Willy Russell use in 'Blood Brothers'? How effective are they in communicating the message of the play?

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Introduction

What techniques and devices does Willy Russell use in 'Blood Brothers'? How effective are they in communicating the message of the play? 'Blood Brothers' is an experiment. Willy Russell poses the question of 'What would happen if two brothers born on the same day, raised by two different families, on either side of the class boundaries. One family was on the middle class side, and the other was on the working class side. Willy Russell wants to know whether it would affect their lives. He wanted to show the impact of class boundaries on people's lives. One of Willy Russell's main objectives was to pack 35 years into a play. Before him, Aristotle - 'The Master of Greek Drama' practicaly wrote the rules of Greek Drama. He believed that all plays should follow 3 unities: 1. Time 2. Place 3. Action Aristotle thought that all plays should take as long to perform as it does in real life. Obviously (for time reasons) 'Blood Brothers' is not 35 years long. Aristotle thought that all plays should take place in the same location. Again Willy Russell does not keep 'Blood Brothers' inside that rule. Willy Russell, though, does make 'Blood Brothers' stick to the action rule. ...read more.

Middle

The songs act as a reminder to the audience and characters. They enhance the dramatical mood and convey characters dreams. These songs, which convey characters dreams are called 'I wish' songs. An 'I wish' song example is when Edward had just moved away and Mickey went knocking for him in his old house: "My best friend ... I wish I could be like that..." The characters use songs to comment on the action. The narrator mainly does this as well as moving the play on. The idea of a narrator came from the Greek Chorus, who set the scene in Greek Plays. In 'Blood Brothers', the narrator does sets the scene up, but also acts as a go between, from the characters to the audience. The narrator in 'Blood Brothers' has many different roles e.g the milkman, a gynaecologist etc. The narrator controls the story, he is the 'puppeteer' of the play. He is the one that reminds and reinforces superstition into the play. Generally, the narrator brings bad luck - he is the 'embodiment of fate'. When Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons are discussing the new baby, the gynaecologist comes in and tells Mrs Johnstone that she is having twins. ...read more.

Conclusion

The plot is about superstition, but the meaning of the play is the effect of class boundaries on people's lives. Willy Russell uses very few stage props. He does not have many changes in backgound, and props. On one side of the stage there was the Johnstone's house and on the other side there was the Lyon's house. With the 2 houses you can see the difference between the working class and the middle class. It is simple, suggestive staging. It lets the acting be more fluent and fluid, than other plays with a lot of scene changes. Willy Russell pays no attention to minute details. When Mickey, Edward and Linda are shooting at Peter Pan in the park, they would be standing in the centre of the stage 'shooting' the audience. Whereas other plays would actually bring on a Peter Pan statue, Willy Russell does not. If Willy Russell paid attention to minute detail the play and meaning would not have been as effective. Throughout the play Willy Russell explores the impact of class boundaries on people's lives. Willy Russull explores this and is effective in putting this across using very simple techniques. It was nothing like what would happen in real life, as Willy Russell used 'Verfremdungseffekt' (distancing devices) to the upmost quality. He used them really effectively. By Jamie Connolly 10 Red 1 ...read more.

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