The piece on Zimbabwe was a very strong piece using a variety of techniques to capture the audience and convey their message. They used very strong and exaggerated characters to accentuate the message. One stand out character for me was Lizzy’s role of the news reporter. Although being an extremely humorous character, she had a serious point that things are edited so that it makes good television and isn’t necessarily truthful to what is really happening. One of Brecht’s styles that they incorporated into their piece was when they introduced who they were to the audience and the character they were playing.
This technique confused me slightly and I thought it was a bit unnecessary. However, that’s just my opinion and in someone else’s mind it worked perfectly. They also did costume changes onstage, this worked extremely well, because it made sure the audience knew exactly what was going on and who was who. Also, by using this and reassuring the audience of what is going on, it lets the think more about the message and morale of the piece instead of trying to work out what the hell is going on. They used very exaggerated characters to accentuate their message.
This was especially obvious in the role of Lizzy as the obnoxious and rather frank news reporter. Her over-the-top gestures and loud charismatic voice gave the piece the bleak humour that the play needed because otherwise I think it might have been slightly tedious and dull. On the whole, the acting was a very high standard and they really warped into their characters bodies and feelings. In contrast to Lizzy’s role as the news reporter, Milly, who played the role of a lady living in Zimbabwe who came under incrimination from the intolerant and heartless ‘Zanu PF’ played by Patrick and Johnny, was very emotional and serious.
Milly’s role supplied balance to the play over Lizzy’s role otherwise it may just have been a laugh out loud play which as the play’s were in the style of Brecht and Brecht wanted to entertain his audiences, he also wanted the audience to think about what they were seeing. Also, because they had a good balance, it remained quite neutral, which left the audience open to think for themselves and form their own opinions.
I think that the play could have been interpreted in two ways, one way being that it is exposing the ‘Zanu PF’ and the dirty work they do for Mugabe under his wicked and fascist regime and the second being how the media edits their reports so that it makes good tele as to actually reporting everything that is going on. I actually interpreted their play in the second way, due to the fact that when Lizzy was interviewing Milly, she was very brief and more interested in trying to make herself stand out than reporting the news.
Also, when they cut to the dramatic interpretations of the events, they were entirely inaccurate and posed no resemblance to what was being reported. I think this part worked especially well to represent the inaccuracy of the media. All in all, I think that the actors were successful in what they presented, they put their message across in a clear and modern way. But the only thing that slightly let them down was the fact that they tried to use too many of Brechts styles in their piece.