'Shadow of a Gunman' - How would you perform the role of Tommy Owens to create the correct response from the audience?

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Theatre Studies As Level

Nicola Richardson 

‘Shadow of a Gunman’

How would you perform the role of Tommy Owens to create the correct response from the audience?

Tommy Owens is one of the comical characters within the play. His character is a young man aged around twenty five, yet I doubt that he looks it due to his scrawny build and lack of height. He’s a rough looking fellow, unwashed, unshaven and although he enters the play in a suit, its not a particularly smart suit and typical dress of a young working class man in Ireland at that time. To coincide with his ‘Gobshite’ image, he’d have rat resemblances. Small beady eyes, pointy ears and nose which make him look even more boy like, and can be seen peering through the gap in the door of the room before he enters.

              Tommy is obviously a harmless character physically, and poses no threat, this will be obvious to the audience from their first glance at him. Throughout the time which he is in Seumas’s room, he is constantly told to ‘leave Mr Davoren alone,’ by Minnie who is obviously disgruntled at the fact that Tommy burst in just as she was going to kiss a gunman. He is not respected by any of the people who know him, and this is shown by the way in which Minnie constantly tells him to keep quiet and how later Mrs Henderson does the same.

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           His voice is also something that adds to the annoyance that he causes. The audience should feel this too. He has a husky voice with a nasal draw, caused by drink and smoking. This makes his constant desperation to say the right thing to Mr Davoren worse, he even sounds bad. He talks in a staccato manner which will be made obviously annoying to the audience by expressions on Davoren and Minnie’s faces as Tommy speaks. He’s a drinker like most Irish men and enjoys a trip to the pub everyday. Its mid morning at ...

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