Throughout my character Creon’s scene with Antigone, Creon uses a variety of tactics to aggravate Antigone but not to great affect. To achieve this, I used a very upper-class formal voice which showed the audience my position of hierarchy and dominance. Despite his frustration with Antigone in this scene, Creon wants to remain measured and use his cunning to forge a level-headed attack at Antigone but on occasions all sense of this measure is lost and his contained fury is expressed. To show his exasperated fury, I decided I had to march across the stage and grab Antigone by the wrist.
We also used levels here to show Creon’s power as I eventually grab Antigone by the hair and pull him down to my level to show that Creon is the King who is peering down on him, trying to make Antigone seem insignificant. We also used levels on a more larger scale in this scene as to begin with, I sat on a throne which was placed on a raised platform to show that this was Creon’s palace, Creon’s cities and everything was to be run under Creon’s ruling. Antigone however, remained standing in a corner of the stage and only ever moved when grabbed, pushed and shoved by Creon.
What I understood from reading the part of Creon, is that he’s not the horrible tyrant he would like to be and underneath the crown and this figure of dominance is someone who does show emotion. In order to show this, I aimed to make his tone of speech measured yet angry for most of the scene, but when I felt this angry emotion was increasing at certain points of the scene, the volume of my speech went down and my tone was slightly more lenient. This showed the character to be more three dimensional than if it were played in the same angry bellowing tones throughout which is always a temptation.
For the part of Creon, I used movement as a form of intimidation. I’d walk slowly round Antigone to make him feel threatened and uneasy. I also used as much of the stage as possible which gave a good sense of ownership and power in what he was trying to do. At times, I’d deliver part of the line right in the face of Antigone and the rest out into the audience, this increased audience interaction whilst also showing how confident Creon is in what he’s saying. During rehearsals, I worked on the walk I was to adopt for the part of Creon, level paced footsteps and a straight back to show his sense of pride and authority.
I found this difficult to begin with as it contrasted hugely with my usual way of walking so I used various techniques which I felt helped me greatly. Other dramatic techniques we used include hot-seating which helped me get into character as I was able to see events on stage from the viewpoint of my character and so I was able to react to them how my character would react when it wasn’t my turn to speak. This technique taught me, that based on Creon’s past, Creon is a frustrated character and hot seating helped me show the right amount of anger. A too small level of anger would not have been effective whereas too much would seem unrealistic.
We also used thought tracking. This helped to increase the level of my performance as our teacher could stop us at any time during the performance and ask what we were thinking at the point of the play, in the shoes of our characters. This increased our understanding of the scene and act accordingly. As part of the Brechtian style we decided to use a thrust stage. If we’d used a proscenium arch stage, it would’ve seemed less real and that audience would not have been involved as much as they were as a thrust stage brings the actors right into the face of the audience allowing for an immediate reaction.
We felt that a proscenium arch stage would distance the audience away from the actors I wasn’t as familiar with the type of character Creon is as opposed to the character of Terrence so I had to work harder in rehearsals to achieve a successful effect. Because of this, during these rehearsals, I had to take a much different approach in achieving the level of cunning and evil that I wanted to achieve. The more we rehearsed, the angrier I felt I could become and this gave me confidence helping my performance to improve.
Remembering times of when I’ve felt anger in my life before going on stage, got me in the right mind set of the scene and I could then transfer that personal anger on to the anger of Creon. Our musical choice at the start of this scene was a classical piece by the composer, “Zemlinsky” and a track called, “Langsam – Mit Ernst Leidenschaftlichem Ausdrug. ” The opening seconds of this piece created a grand feel which was overpowering and contrasted to the more light hearted choice of music from the previous scene.
We also placed a long red drape behind the throne of Creon. Red is often seen as a colour of danger which reflects the situation in which Antigone had brought himself into. Ironically, red is also the colour used in bull-fighting to aggravate the bull which has its similarities to this scene. Antigone is winding up the bull, Creon, with his stubborn unwillingness to obey and the stronger willed he gets, the angrier and intimidating Creon gets. My character in the devised piece, Terrence Watkins, was a complete contrast to the part I played in Antigone.
Therefore I had to use different methods to achieve the desired effect of making the character seem humourous. Terrence’s sole reason for attending the speed dating was for the “banter” and, unlike my part in Antigone; my role was reversed and it was me winding up others on stage. I had to portray my character as an eccentric, care-free, country farmer who was a complete stereotype. These traits meant that when he moved from table to table, he walked with a nonchalant swagger to show a laid-back attitude towards life.
What I found successful was the three completely different individuals in this play all had a unique interaction with one another on stage so the way we reacted with the other 2 characters individually gave the audience a better idea as to what type of person we were. The scene between Sharon and Terrence showed how Sharon was getting more and more wound up by Terrence in the fact he showed no interest in her whatsoever whereas in the scene with David, Sharon was completely uninterested. For this piece, I wanted to use an accent people would typically associate with an overly keen farmer.
The idea of each character was that they should be played as a heightened stereotype of their profession. With these two things in mind, I felt a south country accent would contrast to the accent of the other two characters and highlight Terrence’s countryside ways! Between ourselves we discussed how we wanted the humour to be created and we decided that the prime way of creating a humourous piece would be through the character’s mannerisms. From personal experience, I’ve noticed that Farmers use a lot of facial expression to react to their surroundings.
I picked up on this but exaggerated it in order to create a certain element of humour. This was particularly shown when the only physical touching between two of the characters takes place in the play when Sharon is telling Terrence one of her dog styling exploits. The fact that Terrence is completely shocked by the way Sharon touches his hand shows how pointless speed dating really is and that no-one will ever fall for the scheme because of the uncomfortable, pressurised setting which in itself created humour on behalf of my character.
Farmer Terrence was neither uncomfortable nor feeling pressurised. From his slow, thoughtful, west-country speech as a result of this, was able to be the wind-up merchant he wanted. The introductory song at the start of our devised piece was, “Perfect Love” by Simply Red. We chose this song out of irony as the message we wanted to show is how love is not always perfect and the relationships we were about to show on stage were far from perfect.
Together with the song lyrics we chose to display as part of a slide show presentation between scenes, we tried to show that love was always exaggerated in songs and the perfect way in which so many bands describe love is hardly ever real. This slide show also included identification of the world’s most famous couples, either in films or real life such as; Posh and Becks, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Tony and Cherie Blair and Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet. With these pictures, we wanted to show that although love is always there, either it’s not always perfect or is so perfect to the point that it becomes unreal.
Although the devised piece was a completely different style to that of “Antigone,” we kept the type of stage exactly the same, a thrust stage, this again increased audience interaction but in a different way to that of “Antigone. ” Before the character interaction began, all three characters delivered a monologue at the front of the stage. At a particular part of my monologue, I walked right to the front of the stage towards a suitable victim and was able to pinpoint them and eventually embarrass them.
This helped make that part of the play more humourous for the audience. We chose to do these monologues at the start of the play to make the audience realise how completely different each character and immediately they knew the dating process would be a disaster before the characters themselves did. This meant that when talking to other members of the cast, the audience could relate back to what they said in their monologue and have a better understanding of the character.