For our workshop of war, we creating various role play’s incorporating different situations involving war. The one I have chosen to discuss was initially centralised on a piece of music- ‘The band played Waltzing Matilda’ Relating to the song, our role play was about somebody who has to go far away from home in order to go to fight a war that’s perhaps not their country’s war.
Moreover, we created this role play in order to show the effect war has on different characters and the way in which is can tear a family apart. Another point to consider is that this particular role play was based on a war kit of which the soldier leaves by the door in case he is called up to war at any moment.
Primarily, we discussed the characters we should have, I decided to play the wife, Rhys- the soldier and husband, Rebecca- my friend, and Jermaine- A friend of Rhys’s, but more importantly, we wanted to have characters that would clearly be severely affected by war; we decided to obviously have the soldier himself, and also to have the soldier’s wife, of which the war kit by the door causes her to become extremely paranoid and insecure at the fact that her husband could leave at any time, consequently we had to display the tension caused by this bag; we did this by starting the role play by the wife in a scene of her own, obviously troubled, making anxious glances at this war kit. As well as the wife, we had a friend of each; these characters took a neutral stance to the situation yet didn’t know the full story, which I feel is important in order to show that nobody really knows how much people are affected by a loved one going to war unless they actually experience it first hand.
Another thing that I feel was poignant in our role play was the fact that the husband came home clearly drunk, hence this suggests a deeper meaning to the tension in the household and the state of the wife, and displays the broken down relationship between the husband and wife due to his almost imminent departure for war. However, the scene before the husband’s entrance, between the wife and her friend, shows the prelude to what is eventually revealed. More importantly, the reference to her friend’s pregnancy, which is almost as if she dislikes talking to her friend about her friend’s pregnancy which is ironic because the one thing the wife loves most is children, which is all made clear at the end of the role play.
As a result of this Role play we discovered, in particular, the way the wife acted towards the war, and this allowed to take a sneak at what everyday life is like for a family member of a soldier, as I played the wife, I displayed that she was continually paranoid of the kit that he left by the door and this consequently had a psychological affect on her and as a result the relationship between her and her husband would have been dramatically flawed.
One of things I wanted to suggest with my character, was that I blamed my husband for my state, because he chose to leave his kit there, however I feel this was more of a defence mechanism to hide the fact that she drastically did not want her husband to leave her for war. We also got to see how the solider acted towards family and friends due to being called to war at the back of his mind constantly, as it would for any soldier. Nevertheless, if I were able to create this role play again, I would perhaps include how the solider got himself into this situation.
This would have helped us explore the because we could see how he acted when he found out he had been conscripted to war and what he does, For example we might see Rhys react angrily to the news, or just extremely passive because he knows this is something he has to do. We can now understand and see how and what life is like for soldiers, and this would also help us to incorporate more dramatical techniques into our role play. This is just an typical example of how role play can help. We used proxemics by showing the aggression of Rhys towards me, and we displayed a scene in which he got quite close to my face to display that this anger has taken over his rational thoughts. The action that proceeded this, was when I got frustrated with the whole situation and finally released my anger, in a way which almost exploded with the taunts and provoking of Rhys.
Perhaps, even more significant in our role play, was the scene that happened finally, all of my troubles and worries and obvious distress were made very clear by my revelation that our son’s three year anniversary of his death was up coming- “You can’t leave me! Do you know what day it is next week! ” which was then followed by “It’s our son’s three year anniversary, he’s been dead three year’s, do you care? Don’t leave me, I can’t do it on my own. ”
In order to make my anguish more realistic, I changed my tone of voice to one of clear agony over it all, as apposed to my before voice of a seemingly passive tone because I blamed my paranoia over my husband’s imminent departure, however in this scene, we and the audience, discover the deeper reasons as to why I am so against my husband leaving and leaving his kit by the door to remind me of this fact every minute of every day.
The final scene, saw Rebecca (Close friend) hugging me and saying “I didn’t know, you should of told me! It’ll be alright I promise. ” I feel this scene was necessary as it exposed that again nobody, not even your close friends, know what you’re going through unless they’re experiencing it themselves, and moreover, to show that the wife (me) was going through this struggle completely alone, not even being able to confide in his closest friends or her husband because he was too drunk each night to realise. Overall, I feel this role play was very effective in highlighting the affects on a soldier leaving for his family members and also friends who are involved.