For this last workshop our stimulus was to right a speech that Mr Neville presents to his officers about the plan of ‘Biological Absorption’. We had to write a speech by him, but present it using the whole group. Part of the stimulus was looking at the themes of power, freedom and control. We used a range of strategies appropriate to the developing process of our work. In this piece of writing I am going to evaluate my group’s devised work in as much detail as I can. The audience reaction to our piece was shock.
The way we used the whole group in Mr Neville’s speech was very effective. The officers were in a meeting with Mr Neville and everything Mr Neville said the officers would react on, however they way that the officers were linked into the speech was by Mr Neville controlling the characters movements as if they were puppets, that links to the stimulus of control. We knew this would have a big impact on the audience because it was an original idea and was performed very powerfully.
The language that was used in our performance was very formal which was appropriate to the setting. The stimulus was a speech by Mr Neville so it had to be serious. It showed elements of power and control, Mr Neville would use his authority when asking the officers questions. The initial idea that the group came up with was instead of the officers being puppets they were zombies. It would a as if they were not alive and had no control over their actions. We developed on that idea when we started to act it out.
Through that, the puppet idea came and we developed even more on that to make it better. The movement of the puppets was the biggest improvement of the whole piece. We worked on our timing and movement by coming up with a plan on how we would time the actions, it would have been harder for the audience to understand the concept if Mr Neville had started to control the officers after they started to move. The strategy of the puppets was effective mainly with our improvements.
We made the change form the zombies to the puppets because it seemed to be a better, more understandable idea of using puppets because it showed all the themes; power- Mr Neville over the Aboriginals, freedom- The one officer who rejected the plans, control- Mr Neville over his officers. The elements and medium of drama that were most relevant to my work were; levels, cross-cutting and non-naturalistic techniques. The use of levels implements the power and control Mr Neville has over his officers that was why we used it.
He was standing up and speaking throughout the performance while the officers were either sitting upright or slumped over themselves below him. We cross-cut from the speech, to the scene of one of the officers as a child. She was showing her memory of living with two aboriginal children, and back again to the speech scene. We used it like that to explain why that officer was against the plans that Mr Neville had come up with in regard to the ‘Biological Absorption’. The non- naturalistic technique we used was our movement.
It again portrayed the control and power that Mr Neville had. The structure of the piece was important because it created suspense in the audience. The initial impact was the use of puppets. The audience didn’t anticipate that it would be Mr Neville controlling the officers. The climax was when one of the officers disagreed with Mr Neville. Because the audience could already see the power that Mr Neville had they would have been shocked that an officer stood up to him. The final scene was when the rebel’s string got cut added to the initial suspense and shock.
The main strength of our piece was the idea of puppets, however it would not have been any where near as affective if we didn’t use masks. All of the officers had masks and they were all white except the rebel officer. The use of masks showed that the officers weren’t as important as Mr Neville and it took away their identity. Freedom. The officers were almost trapped inside the masks and the only way to get out of it was for the string to be cut. The weaknesses of our piece were the length and the variety of drama techniques.
The piece was only three scenes long however if we added a couple more scenes to it we could develop an even better story line. In doing that the overall piece would improve. The drama techniques that we included in our piece were; movement levels and cross-cutting. If we used scarfar in the speech it would create an atmosphere in the audience that would be added onto the suspense created by the use of puppets. The things we would say in the scarfar would represent the aspects of power freedom and control, each person saying a different thing relating to one of the three themes.