Therefore with this skill an actor can believe in the story they are acting out, feel free and no longer be self conscious. Therefore for this reason our teachers felt that it was important for us to re-enact the ‘kids play’ scene. We were then told that after our warm up exercise we were to do a spontaneous improvisation of the ‘kids play’ scene. Before we progressed with our warm up we had another class discussion about children and what makes them different form everyone else i.
e. their innocence, their vivid imagination, their ability to believe, their truthfulness, their frankness and the fact that children see each other as equals. Once we were told what we would be doing, we were then told to find a space on the floor and lie down with our eyes closed. Our drama teacher then talked to the class, firstly instructing us to clear our minds from anything, we ten followed some breathing and bodily exercises/movements to relax us.
After this our teacher then told us to flash back to our childhood at around the ages of 5-8 years of age and remember a particular prominent childhood memory, we then had to picture ourselves back there, as our teacher continued to guide us, she then explained to us that we are now back at that age, and within the click of her finger we will instantly be a child again. Once our teacher clicked her fingers we then ran off into our groups and started playing. After a while the teachers stopped us and gathered us together as a group once again.
We then discussed how we felt during the spontaneous improvisation and how we felt afterwards the general reaction was that we were all full of energy (to the disadvantage of my teacher in the following lesson and my friends! and that we genuinely felt like children again. We then continued to discuss our performances and the type of children we became, I found that I was a very controlling child who would often protest if things weren’t done the way I liked or if wasn’t the role I wanted to be. I also found that my childhood personality also cheated r slightly twisted the truth to make myself appear to me the mighty winner.
In my group Zion took the role as the ‘sulky child’ as she would often sulk if nobody would play the game she wanted to play, however in the end she would usually come in and join the game. After we shared our roles with each other as a group, our teacher then asked what we felt were the bad points of the spontaneous improvisation. It was quite apparent that the main problem was that there was no clear structure t the events and that it was also unorganised as everything was happening at once, leading to some events being unheard.
Therefore for this reason our next task was to create an organised version of our improvisation having a clear beginning, middle and ending, within this we had to consider staging use of levels and the audience. Once we had created our rehearsed improvisation, we then had to act it out to the rest of the class. Our improvisation was slightly different to the other groups; this was a conscious decision as we saw that the structures of some weren’t as clear as they could have been. We also noticed tat so many things happened at the same time, leading to some things becoming unclear.
Therefore in our own performance we ensured that we had a clear structure, actions that were centre and events that were in the background. An example of how we did this was in our beginning, Letisha and Zion were both sp inning the skipping rope (in the centre of the sage) while I skipped into the middle, by us being in the middle of the stage it alerted the audience that our game was the main action in the scene. Meanwhile during that scene, Emma was playing with Adrian in the background, while Tamara was sulking.
In our improvisation we also played group games like ‘ring a roses’ ad ‘cops and robbers’, this acted as our comparison to the ‘cowboys and Indians’; game 5that the children in Blood Brothers played. In our performance we also includes the use of smaller words higher pitched voices, colloquial language and mispronounced words. We also mimicked the costume of ‘Blood Brothers’ by wearing our school uniform in an improper fashion. Once again like in the spontaneous improvisation I noticed that we each subconsciously took on a particular characteristic of a child (whether this is linked to our own personalities as children I’m not sure of).
I also noticed that during this improvisation, everyone was 100% involved as each person really did absorb the role and felt although we had re-entered our childhood again. Through this exercise we learnt that children see everyone as the same and aren’t discriminatory to them in anyway whether they are of a different class, religion, ethnic group etc. therefore this supports the fact that the eventual break down of Mickey and Eddie’s friendship was through fault of their own. Instead it was due to the unfair views on class in society as well as their different environments and agents of socialisation and social control.
This improvation therefore leaves you thining about how unfair society is and how great its influence can really be. Through this improvisation, I also felt a greater understanding of both the characters of Mickey and Eddie as we got an insight of their childhood. Our final exercise was to create a rehearsed improvisation based on Blood Brothers, within this improvisation we were allowed to use one or more of the main themes prominent in Blood Brothers. Some of the themes that are explored apparent in Blood Brothers include; * Drugs * Guilt * A love story ending in tragedy * The British Class System
* Superstition We were ten assigned the task of choosing three tableaux showing the most important parts of our improvisation. The first tableaux we chose was the party scene in which myself, Megan and Emma are in a dancing line and looking on at Stephanie and Adrian heading to the bedroom. We used this scene as our first tableaux as it was the final scene in which we are teenagers and in a sense also makes the audience think about what effect Stephanie and Adrian’s actions will have on everyone in the future. Our second tableaux showed the audience what each person had achieved through their job status.
In this tableaux Adrian was a counsellor, Megan was a secretary, Stephanie became a barmaid, Marian was a police officer (chasing Emma) and I was a drug dealer. To emphasise the effect we were trying to create we included the use of levels to show the differences in status between each character. I felt that this added to our tableau giving it a great edge as well as great stage craft and spacing. Our final tableau was from the scene between Stephanie and Megan at Stephanie’s house. The tableaux we took from this scene was when Megan smashed Stephanie’s mirror.
This tableau is the most important as the smashing of the mirror marks the change of events in the lives of everyone. This tableau can be compared to the ‘shoes on the table’ scene between Mrs Johnston and Mrs Lyons as superstition becomes the most prominent theme in both. After we had all shown our three tableaux to the class, we sat as a group and discussed each groups tableaux’s and what we all found effective. Once we had shared our opinions on each group’s tableaux, we then had to extend from our tableaux and complete our improvisation. This improvisation had to be based on similar themes prominent n Blood Brothers (as mentioned above).
The themes my group chose to focus on were superstition, guilt, changing friendships and to some extent a tragic love story; other more peripheral themes that were in our play were, drugs and deceit. I felt that our improvisation was extremely original as we focused particularly on superstition with constant links and comparisons present, for example we had a mirror smashing, this could be compared to the shoes on the table scene between Mrs Johnston and Mrs Lyons. To conclude I feel that each one of these tasks has helped me gain a higher attainment of understanding of the Blood Brothers production and the characters within it.
This is because I have gained a better understanding of each character and why they chose to d certain things i. e. fro when I took on the role of Mickey in the finale scene. I also gained a greater knowledge and insight into Mickey and eddies childhood through our ‘kids play’ improvisation. Finally through these tasks I have gained a further understanding and empathy of Blood Brothers and how the British class system, society and other roles of socialisation can become major effectors of the life chances, achievements of characters and the future characters of people.