Create a presentation in response to the thematic area IRONY.

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Sophie Wong 11A

Coursework and controlled test evaluation


My task for this controlled test was to create a presentation in response to the thematic area IRONY. Our production was centred on the theme of irony and things are not what they seem. Although this theme ran throughout our presentation, we also used a different form of irony called dramatic irony. This is when the audience know something about the character or the plot but which the characters within the play are oblivious to.  We were influenced on this by a theatre production entitled ‘Blithe Spirits’, in which a wife dies and returns as a spirit roaming around her own home as if she was still living. This is very similar to our storyline in which pair of female twins and their friend are on holiday when a schizophrenic murders one of the twins. The outline of the play is the living twin can see her spirit but the friend cannot. The dramatic irony within this is that the audience know she is dead but the characters do not.

I chose to work in a group of five for a second time because I felt that the numbers worked well previously. It allowed us to have various characters and experiment with many different expressive arts techniques. I worked with Alison, Hannah, Rachel and Johanna and because we were all studying dance and drama, these were the focuses of the play. We chose to work in this group because we could display a full and varied mix of characters, forms and techniques. We also knew one another previously and were happy working along side each other knowing we were comfortable and could express our ideas and opinions easily.


Although no members of my group were studying music we were all keen to include some composition within our presentation. We knew it would not be marked but we hoped it would create a tenser and more effective atmosphere than our voices or dancing alone would. We did this because we all felt we could express our characters emotions, feelings and personality more interestingly by using more than two art forms. Through dance, we could express these things without dialogue but still prevail meaning to the audience, as well as being able to grasp an interest in what we were portraying. Music was a way of adding an atmospheric background for example in the narration or the beginning scene. We were able to compose music, which we danced to thus portraying two art forms at once. Our audiences for this presentation were teenagers or adults, this is because teenagers could relate to the events being portrayed, the argument between friends etc. The scenes may have been slightly scary for young children and inappropriate as it involves murder and schizophrenic, and the storyline may have been too complex for them to grasp.

Discussing ideas and opinions as a group was not particularly hard. Once we had decided on the topic of dramatic irony, murder and ghosts we each expressed ideas around this subject. We also knew we all wanted to use influences from all the previous topics we had studied.

We brainstormed on the topics: Cabaret, A Talk in the Park and Ghost Dances. From Cabaret we were able to extract ideas about contrasting scenes within scenes and tableaux with acting around it. From a Talk in the Park, we wanted to include a theme of fakeness and putting on a front. We were able to portray this with a photograph and its fake smiles. From Ghost Dances, we created one of the plays main themes and this was spirits. We also used the exact routine taught to us in previous terms within our presentation to link it directly back to Ghost Dances and to show the audience that one of our characters was a ghost. After brainstorming, collecting and gathering ideas we were able to extract a clear outline of what our play would be about. This was then thoroughly researched before we began putting scenes together.


We carried out research looking for information in books, newspapers, television, the Internet and personal interviews and divided these tasks between us. The resources we thought we would need to produce a high quality presentation was:

  • A picture of a beach, this was initially to go on the OHP (over head projector) to enlighten the audience as to the characters whereabouts.
  • Contrasting music to the acting and dancing being portrayed on stage, this has immense impact on the audience.
  • Song lyrics that could be directly used in our narration for two purposes, 1 – to link our narration directly to a songs meaning and message, and 2 – if the song was familiar to our audience they may then be aware of and understanding of the plot and its message.
  • A name of a beach, this was needed to help the storyline become more realistic. We also thought that if the audience knew the beach they could picture the happenings on stage in real life and this could be bring a greater impact and effect to them.
  • Poems to use in the narration that would reveal the background and events before the play.
  • Schizophrenic behavior needed to be researched because we wanted the character to be played successfully, appropriately and effectively.
  • An effective way of dancing that showed control and trap.

I researched the picture of a suitable beach and its name. This had to be a popular beach so that the audience would be familiar with it and could easily picture it in their heads. The name of the beach would also be used in News reports within our play and also had to be one our audience would instantly recognize.  Some of this research however wasn’t used in the final production because we decided that a photograph of the characters on the OHP was more effective and explained more to the audience. The name of the beach was mentioned on two occasions within the play - during a news report that revealed information to the audience concerning the characters. This research helped ultimately to explain to the audience of the characters whereabouts and surroundings thus making it more understandable, realistic and successful.

I also observed my cousins who are 18 themselves and their behavior towards one another as they are twins. I did this to gain an idea of how to present myself as a twin on stage. I observed the way they spoke to each other and moved around each other compared with other people. Their gestures ad mannerisms are very similar and Rachel and I tried to portray this within our on-stage relationship, I think this research was very useful and developed both our characters in our on-stage bond. It made it more realistic and we were able to show, behave and act as if we really were twin sisters.

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The contrasting music was used as an influence from Cabaret; the music we used was from ‘Coldplay’. Because the piece was in a major key and sounded happy, it contrasted with the images on stage, which were sad, depressing and scary. The contrasting music was used in the beginning whilst the narrator spoke, the narrator’s words were negative and read with a sad, meaningful tone, and thus it contrasted with the music and was very successful. This music was also repeated (ostinato) to give a sense of familiarity and that something negative was happening. When this was played a ...

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