Structured record:stimulus material developed through the drama process

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A2 Drama: Structured Record

In what ways was the stimulus material developed through the drama process?

The teacher stimuli, in which the class was given to explore, were a range of articles, based on the real lives of murderers, some of whom, are still alive today, serving their prison sentence. The murder stories had a theme of surrealism, exploring issues of teacup poisoning, which was the method used by Graham Young to kill several family members and work colleagues and the life of Mary Bell who was a child murderer at ten years old. All of the murder stories have a shock factor to them and go beyond normal killings. Mary Bell’s story for example, allows for the exploration of psychological reasons for her spontaneous murders.

The stimulus used created discussions within our group about the running theme of our own play. We decided to use ideas from the stimulus, for example, the psychological issues in Mary Bell’s story and the absurdist methods of murder. We debated over whether to ingrain comedy into the horrific nature of the play, to show a twist of genre and atmosphere, however were worried that this could have the effect of limiting the absurd, surreal and serious nature of the play, which was our desired theme. Therefore, we left the comedy out of the absurd scenes and instead, used it for naturalistic scenes, such as a police interview. This was because we felt that a more successful and humorous result would come out of modern day, natural acting, with a comic twist.

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Alongside our discussions, we explored the stimulus of Mary Bell’s story, using role-play. This lead to a possible story line being created, which was to be about the life of one girl, (created from Mary Bell), before and after her murders.                    

However, it was decided that instead of using one protagonist as a murderer, we would connect three characters’ backgrounds, to portray the same stimulus. This was decided because it was felt that the other characters needed a stronger role. Furthermore, the story of the play needed a ...

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