The convicts’ names in the script, I believe are not that important as on the ship the convicts were just thought as worthless prisoners by the officers and their names aren’t really that important however the Officers are given names in the script as I believe they have higher status over the convicts and I think that they would be called by their names. The first character that appears is Convict 1, this character is a convict with fairly low status but she believes that she is quite powerful until she gets put down by Convict 2. This character should be played with a personality of someone who thinks that they are better than they actually are. Convict 2 is a character with fairly high status as she snatches the bread off Convict with hardly any struggle, which means that she is obviously known as a convict with fairly high status. The officers have the highest status in the play however Officer Jones is more lenient than Officer Cross as officer Cross is played with a much more aggressive approach in the way he speaks and the way he acts as Officer Cross kills the convict whereas Officer Jones was only going to whip her.
The convicts will be wearing rags because their clothes would be dirty and old as I don’t expect the convicts to be rich and have good clothes and they will have been on the ship for 3 months, probably wearing the same clothes everyday. The Officers however will be wearing a uniform to give the characters a sense of control and order over the convicts because the officers have the higher status. The only props that will be used are the whips, the knife and the bread. The bread is eaten by the convicts, not only that but it plays an important part in the script as the bread has been stolen from the officers table and this results in the death of a convict. The knife also plays a key role in the script as it is used to kill the convict. When the convict is killed, it may come as a shock to the audience because the audience thought that the convict was just going to get whipped, but then the convict is unexpectedly killed. The whips play an important part as they symbolize pain and suffering towards the convicts e.g. when the convicts see the whip they automatically think that they are going to be used to cause pain.
The stage type that I am going to be using is end-on because the action doesn’t really change direction, it is all directed one way, if I chose to do theatre in the round, I don’t think it would be that successful as there would be backs to the audience throughout most of the play and it would be difficult to create the set design so that it looked like a ship, but so the audience could still see the action. For my set design I will create a piece of set to go in the background to give the effect that they were on the boat so that the audience will have a rough idea where the set is taking place e.g. an outline of a boat or a drawing of the ocean around the sides and the back of the stage.
Throughout the play I will keep to having low level lighting because this give the effect that the hulks on the ship was a dark and gloomy place also because of the fact that there is no scene change in the script. If I was to add any extra lighting, I might introduce a spotlight in the centre of the stage for most of the action to happen there, thus giving the effectiveness of the small narrow space on the ship.
The message that I am trying to communicate to the audience is the change in status between different classes of people. In my script there is an upward change in status because it starts off with a convict with barely any status and finishes with an officer of the highest status killing one of the convicts. This can also be reflected in real life so people may think about their own society after watching it for example we, the public have barely any status and it leads up to the queen having the highest status.