Drama Evaluation

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When we did the 6 hour workshop on capital punishment, we looked at some extreme cases like two Somalia women; one was raped and stoned to death; the other was also stoned because she committed adultery, which was seen as crime by law in her country. The other case was about a man who was trying to get his lover’s aunt to sell him her farm. When she refused he killed her, but he didn’t want to go to jail, so he told his lover that she should take the blame because, she is underage and therefore wouldn’t go to jail. However, she did o to jail but she is on death row and is still awaiting her death.

       Even though, we studied all the capital punishment cases, it was the short plays about Derek Bentley that I decided to evaluate.

The other group decided to focus on Derek’s personal development throughout their play. The first scene is set with Derek reminiscing about his life on the day of his execution. The group use a monologue to set the first flashback of the play. He talks about how he was born and how the umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck; this was a possible cause of his mental problems. The group’s use of levels is done very well since Derek is represented by a prop which is very small and his parents are above him with the doctor and the reminiscing Derek is sitting away from the flashback – this was representing how far away from his family he is. This scene was very effective at emphasising Derek’s innocence, since babies are usually associated with purity. However, I think the scene could’ve been improved if the doctor faced the audience, unless that was an intentional way of showing that this character isn’t as important.

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       The second scene isn’t as long but it shows how Derek’s personality has been developing. He is playing with his toys on the floor and he looks very happy and clueless. His parents come in to talk to Derek’s teacher, who informs them about Derek’s disabilities. The vulnerable side of Derek is seen because of the use of levels – the parents and the teacher are yet again on a higher level then Derek, making them seem like they’re in control of the situation. The scene could have been improved if more emotion was shown in the ...

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