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Compare and contrast the plays Billy liar and My mother said I never should which we are studying for out performance.

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Hayley shaw 10PC Drama coursework Compare and contrast the plays Billy liar and My mother said I never should which we are studying for out performance. This year we are studying Billy Liar and My mother said I never should. They are two different plays, dealing with different issues and themes. I am going to explore these differences and similarities in some detail. One of the biggest and most important contrasts would be the genre of the two plays. My mother said I never should is a straight drama. It's a very realistic play with serious issues, requiring naturalistic acting, to show the relationships between the generations. Billy liar is a comedy, but has serious underlying themes, where a young man desperately tries to escape his mundane life and become a higher-class member of society, and his dreams of this gets him into some difficult situations. The way these two plays are performed is also different. The set of my mother said I never should is representational in style, which enables actors to move from one period to another easily. In this play the focus is not on the details of the set, but more on representing the characters, their flaws and the conflicts that occur between them. ...read more.


This theme runs into My mother said I never should. Jackie gets pregnant in the play and has Rosie. Rosie is then taken by Margret who brings Rosie up. In the play Jackie is a free spirit, who comes and goes as she pleases, and we sometimes are made to believe that Margret resents Jackie. We get this impression because Margaret's dad was proud of Jackie and left her his assets when he died, this made Margret slightly jealous, 'its funny how a job was never a good enough excuse for me, I think father disapproved'. We get this impression, because of the subtle lines, the facial expressions and the gestures throughout the play. Although Rosie doesn't know that Jackie is her mother, the two characters are quite close and Margret comes between them by not letting them see each other as often as they would like. This creates more conflict between Jackie and Margaret. The two plays cover many issues. Billy liar was set in post-war England, and the memories of the rationing and poverty are shown by Florence who is still living in the second-world war. The characters in this play have an attitude where the are constantly trying to socially better themselves, that's why Billy was sent to grammar school, and he dreams of living a better lifestyle in London. ...read more.


Alice and Barbara reflect society of that time and disagree with it. While Rita and Liz, also Billy thinks that it's alright to have sex before marriage. This is like in My mother Said I never should. Dorris talks about how her mother was frowned upon for having a child out of wedlock, yet Margaret keeps her mother's illegitimacy a secret from Jackie. Jackie got pregnant when she wasn't married. Margret disapproved of Jackie and forced her to hand over her child, Jackie feels un-supported by society and her mothers beliefs that she needs to give her daughter up to pursue her career. The attitudes towards women going to work in My mother said I never should change over the generations. When Dorris got married she had to leave her job that she enjoyed and stay at home to be a housewife and a mother, although this changed as Jack (Doris's husband) left all the money to Jackie to support her career. When Margret gets a fulltime job her husband leaves her. In this essay I have explored the themes, attitudes to society, the characters and have come to the conclusion that these plays are similar to some detail, but the way they are performed and the way the different generations are portrayed is different. My mother said I never should is a very serious drama, whereas Billy liar is entertaining as it is a comedy, yet deals with serious issues. ...read more.

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