How does John Misto explore the tension between Bridie and Sheila in his play the Shoe- Horn Sonata? Use images from the play to support your answer.
Important Acts, scenes, page numbers and relevant techniques to use as references for your assessment tasks.
A possible introduction
In the opening scenes of the Shoe-Horn Sonata the audience is made aware of the obvious tension between the two main protagonists, Bridie and Sheila who through their enduring friendship and shared experiences survived the second war. The two women, who were once POWs in Mantuk and Belelau are brought together after an interim of fifty years by the making of a documentary on the experiences of POWs. Misto masterfully utilises various threatrical and dramatic techniques of stage directions and dialogue, lighting, sound, symbolism predominantly the reoccurring symbol of the shoe horn and the tobacco tin to portray the tension and discord, and impending resolution between the elderly Bridie and Sheila.
Act/Scene | Page number | Technique | Quote | Effect | Act 1 scene 2 | 23 | Stage directions | ‘There is a slight but obvious tension between them’ | Misto creates an awareness to the audience of the obvious tension between the two characters. The audiences’ curiosity is aroused. | | 24 | Stage directions/dialogue | Bridie(fondly):’Gee it’s good to see you.’Sheila appears to ignore this remark. | Becomes obvious that Sheila does not return the same affection as Bridie. | | 25 and 26 | Stage directions/dialogue | ‘So why did you come?’ (casually trying to make light of it)And don’t say you did it for the chance of seeing me. Not after fifty years of hiding.Sheila looks at Bridie with surprising intensity-but not with affection. Bridie looks back at Sheila desperately wanting her to say that she did come to see Bridie. A few seconds of silence. It is clear that something is still going on between these two women-even after fifty years’ separation. | | Act one scene five | 43 | Stage