Essay Performance and Play

Submitted By 123abc321z
Words: 1949
Pages: 8

On Monday the 22nd of October, I and the rest of the year 11 drama class at Erasmus Darwin academy visited the Birmingham hippodrome. We watched the play Blood Brothers, a musical written by Willy Russell. After doing a lot of work on the play in class I had many expectations on how it would be carried out, particularly how the actors would use movement, voice and gesture to portray the characters of mickey and Eddie. I was especially looking forward to the musical and comedic aspects of the play and the different techniques that would be used in the process of the unravelling of the plot.
The play took place in a proscenium arch theatre with raised seating and tears to ensure the greatest viewing availability for the audience. The performance area consisted of both the main stage and the area in which the audience were seated. At the end of the play the police came through the stalls on both sides to show the audience that Eddie and mickey were surrounded, this is an example of the technique of breaking the fourth wall. By using the area in which the audience were seated it makes them feel more involved in the action and setting of the play. The balcony situated at the back of the stage was another important aspect of the performance area. When the narrator came on stage he would stand on the balcony using levels, to show the audience how he was looking down on the actors like the death and superstation that was following them through out there life. Also by being on a different level he doesn’t interrupt the main scene going on below, but still captivates the audience’s attention.
At the back of the stage was a backdrop of the city of Liverpool where the play is set, with a number of buildings on each side of the stage. On the left side was mickeys house and on the right side was eddies house, this was a dominant idea as it stayed visible the whole time throughout the play. The two half’s of the stage were almost symmetrical in that they were very similar, but you could see the intentional differences created by using graffiti and older bricks on mickeys house to show that this was a rougher area. The symmetrical staging showed the different classes between mickey and Eddie but still remained similar to show the audience that they were twins. Throughout the play there were only two locations, the city and the country side. The two locations were shown by changing the main backdrop at the back of the stage, when in the country side there was a backdrop of a field and a crisp blue sky and when in the city there was a skyline of lit up buildings representing the factory’s. Besides from fly in backdrops and slide in walls the actors also played a very important part in the setting of the play. When the set was changed the actors in that scene would bring on their set pieces and when there scene was finished they would take it off. By using the actors to bring on set it made the play flow as there were no blackouts, however by the actors remaining in character it still remained discrete. The actors also used physical theatre to create the set of a fairground, by holding hands and spinning around it created the image of the fairground attractions, in this case the walsers. Physical theatre is particularly effective as it eliminates the use of props within the performance, helping the scene to run without interruption.
During the performance of Blood Brothers I noticed a lot of design elements including lighting and sound in order to create effect. Whenever mickey or Eddie was mentioned as being together blue lighting accompanied creepy/fearful music which set an anxious atmosphere within the audience. Lighting was also used to show the contrast between the two different settings in the play. At the beginning there was dark and dim lighting, setting the scene for the horrors that would unravel for Mrs Johnston, as she agreed to give away her child. On the contrary in the second half when the Johnston’s moved to the country…