Written performance concept for the character Harry Brewer in ‘Our countrys good’
Social, political cultural and historical aspects
One of the main social aspects of Harry’s life at the time would have been the divide of class between wealthy and poor. In his situation, this was usually shown in the divide between the crew members and convicts. This affected Harry as he was a mid-shipman and even though he was higher than the convicts, he was once caught for stealing. This complicates his status as even though now he is a mid-ship man, he was once exactly the same as the people he has hung, making him feel torn about the decisions he has made. Whilst sailing to Australia, the crew would have consumed a lot of alcohol because it was the only drink they could preserve, however because of this, Harry becomes an alcoholic and develops and starts hallucinating and talking to the dead he has killed. This culture of heavy drinking affects him and how I played the character.
To prepare for my role as Harry brewer, I decided to firstly split my monologue into units. I used this Stanislavski technique of splitting the monologue where there was a change in the characters motive or emotion. This helped with this piece as it helped me identify which character was speaking. This helped me develop each individual character instead of just focusing on Harry. I ended up using almost 30 different units in the monologue which helped me address each characters objectives and motives. It is a challenging monologue because I had to also play Thomas Barett and Handy Baker ( two of the people he had hung) so I also wanted to make sure I knew and understood how to play each character. I did this by making a role on the wall for each character. for Harry brewer, I decided I wanted to play him drunk and terrified of what was happening, Thomas Barett to have a more innocent tone as he was