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Analyse the atmosphere at the start of Act three (too page 55 CONNOR: "yeah"). A close study of Trevor Griffiths' comedians.

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Introduction

Analyse the atmosphere at the start of Act three (too page 55 CONNOR: "yeah"). A close study of Trevor Griffiths' comedians. At the beginning of Act three the comedians return from their show to discuss their performances. There is a "low, tense, anxious, angry, baffled mood". Trevor Griffiths creates this atmosphere through the use of language, form and structure. There is a feeling of defeat at the start of Act 3. The comics who remained loyal to Waters have failed in their aspirations to become comedians; those who pandered to Challenor's view of comedy have betrayed their teacher and the values they aspire to. Griffiths creates the sense of their failure through stage directions. The comics sit "glum, drained and separate" with "simple exhaustion underpinning the low" atmosphere. Price's mock funeral service for the comedians is symbolic of this failure "we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of several promising careers in the comedic arts". Waters is also defeated by the previous scene's performances, he's "white, tired, drained and old". ...read more.

Middle

He has brought his audience to a realisation of the plight of the working class, where the only escape is through conforming to the capitalist society that oppressed them in the first place. There is tension between the actors on stage. This is created by dividing the comedians into two groups, those who remained loyalty to Waters and those who betrayed him, thereby creating tension through the suggestion of gang warfare. The groups know who they side with; those who betrayed Waters feel guilty and those who stuck by his principles resent the fact hat others will be rewarded for their actions. The speech is in short sentences and the comics are quick to retaliate to insults. After Phil refers to Connor as Seamus, a stereotypical Irish name, Connor remarks "my name's Mick", in a "dangerous, suddenly, very deliberate" manner. The actors sit a "deliberate distance apart" and there is "no eye contacts". The stage directions tell us there is "silence", indicating that the actors have little to say to each other and through the use of ellipsis we can see the forced pauses in their conversations. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stage directions describe the "hostility" between the comics. Griffiths also uses humour and irony to create a hostile atmosphere. Price's mock funeral sermon ends with the motto "it's easy to be a bit of cunt, you've got to work to be a shit house". This was aimed at the comedians who changed their act to appease Challenor and was intended to tell them that their action makes them unscrupulous people. Another example of the resentment felt by some of the characters is Ged's action in giving Samuels, whom they knew to be Jewish, a pork pie. Ged acts innocently, "don't you like pork?". This can equally be seen as Ged suggesting that Samuels forgo his faith in order to become successful. At the start of Act Three Griffiths creates the defeated, tense and angry atmosphere that has come about as a result of the divided loyalties amongst the students towards their teacher. The conflict between personal values and the opportunity for success and the battle between socialism and capitalism rear itself at the beginning of the scene and mark the act as violent and depressing. Griffiths convey this through the use of cleaver staging, metaphor and stage directions. ...read more.

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