Blood Brothers Coursework

Recently I have been to see ‘Blood Brothers’ the musical and I will be writing a review on my thoughts of the production. ‘Blood Brothers’ is about male twins that were separated at birth. One ‘Eddie’ was given away to Mrs Lyons to be adopted and the other was kept with its birth mother ‘Mrs Johnston’. The boys grew up on different sides of the neighbourhood and soon encountered each other and became ‘Blood Brothers’. Mrs Lyons did not want Eddie to find out that she was not his mother so she decided to move away and have a new beginning.

Co-incidentally they moved to the same neighbourhood. They met again. Eddie went off to college and Mickey looked for a job. Mickey married his childhood sweetheart Linda and Linda them a house by asking Eddie. Mickey didn’t like the fact that Eddie was providing for his family. Mickey began to get jealous and went after Eddie but he wasn’t going to kill him, the police got the wrong impression. They were both killed.

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Staging

I think that the staging of the play was very efficient because they only ever had to change the whole set once and this was during the intermission. The set was of the rough side of the neighbourhood and the houses were on the left, on the right hand side of the stage there were a few exits in the form of alleyways. I think that this was very effective because the set was used in many different ways that easily showed the audience what was happening in the play.

I think that this was very effective because it made the production look more professional and at the same time it kept the audience engaged because the stage director didn’t have to keep stopping the production. I also noticed that Eddie was always stage left to Eddie maybe this shows how Mickey was always the dominant one.

Acting

I think that the quality of the acting was quite good because the actors really brought out their characters emotions and made the audience connect to the play. I have decided to write about ‘Mickey’ who was played by Antony Costa and ‘Eddie’. Mickey’s character when he was younger was supposed to be a rough, rugged but in some ways sensitive. Eddie was supposed to be smart and clueless but vulnerable. I think that both of these characters were performed very well but I think that the actor playing Eddie was a bit over the top. He acted smart and most of the things that I felt Eddies’ character should have been but I felt that his character was over acted. I don’t think that this was believable but I do think that it was a good attempt. Mickey’s character did impress me because when he was playing ‘Antony Costa’ did a very good job of bringing out Mickey’s childlike features like giggling or banging his feet on the ground. I found this very effective because it made the whole audience feel whatever emotion they were feeling.

I have chosen two scenes from the play and the first scene is where ‘Mickey’ is playing with Sammy and all of his brothers and sisters and Linda, this is where I truly saw his character come to life. Mickey was talking about how he wishes he was Sammy and his angry because his voice got angry and his eyebrows raised and his arms were crossed. The second scene I have chosen is where Eddie had comeback home and was looking up some words that Mickey had told him in the dictionary. I felt that when Eddie took his jumper and put it over his legs, this is when I felt that I had finally seen eddies character had come out because he used his voice to show his curiosity by making his voice go higher. I found this very entertaining and overall I think that the acting was very convincing.

Direction

I think that the direction of the play was very well done because I believe that how well the actors deliver the production reflects on how well the play has been directed and I think the directors aim was to deliver the importance of the fact that one of the twins were given away and he showed this by marking the moment in the play were Mrs Lyons got the idea that Mrs Johnston should give away her child. I think that the director’s vision was to show how even though you can separate your children that sooner or later they will always find their way back to their roots. If I could change anything I would probably make points sharper and maybe cut out a few of the songs as sometimes I felt that they were irrelevant and the audience became restless.

My opinion on the play would be that it was very well directed but at times some scenes were irrelevant.

Technical Aspects

The lighting and sound was very well done. At the beginning of the play there was a transparent screen and red and blue lights were shining on it to give you the feeling that something to do with death had happened. When Mrs Johnston was about to walk into her house and her children were at the door. I found third very effective because even though we couldn’t see the children as soon as the door opened the sound effects of the children was right on queue. There was one change of lighting that I can remember that really changed the mood, this was when Mrs Lyons fell to the floor because she had just spoken to Mrs Johnston and started calling her a witch. When she was on the floor there was lighting on her that looked like lightning. From this point on she looked crazy. This helped to manipulate my emotional response, it made me feel uneasy and scared.

Conclusion

I thought that ‘Blood Brothers’ the musical was very creative and told the story in a different but interesting and engaging way. I think that it did deliver its message to me because I could very easily pick a part of the play and analyse it to figure out what that particular message would be.

If I were to pick a scene that I liked the most it would probably be the scene where Mickey and all of his brothers and sisters and Linda were out side playing cowboys and Indians. I liked the way they used movement to characterise the play and show the ages of the different children.

Response

In my drama classes we have been preparing for our exams and our coursework and the second unit we have been working on is Blood Brothers.

Hot seating

In my drama lesson I developed my hot seating techniques. Four people were chosen to be interviewed by the class and each one of these four people took a role of a character from the play. The first four people that were interviewed were Mickey, Eddie, Linda and Mrs Lyons. Mickey was played by Aaron and he finally took on the role of his character. Mickey at this time was eight and he showed this by swinging side to side and on rare occasions Aaron would begin to play with his toes.

I found this very effective as it helped me to realise that it was actually what an eight year old would do. Aaron answered the questions with a smooth high pitched voice and he stumbled over his words sometimes to show that he was trying to protect himself from all of the strangers. I asked Mickey ‘how does it feel to have Eddie as your blood brother? He answered ‘its alright I guess, I mean he doesn’t really know much, but its fun to teach him new words. He’s a bit p…posh but I think its funny and anyways, he’s My blood brother and no one else’s, see our Sammy cant take Eddie away from me too’. I think that this was a very good answer as he used reference from the play by saying our Sammy can’t take Eddie. I think that it showed how insecure and lonely Mickey really was.

I also talked to Eddie and he was being played by Daniel. Daniel had a very insecure look on his face as his eyebrows were slightly turned in and he had a scared look on his face. Also he had his legs together and his arms straight across his chest. This was effective because it showed how well brought up he was. Eddie had a straight, held up posture were as Mickey had a softer, slouched posture. I asked Eddie the same question as I did for Mickey and he replied ‘I don’t really know what a blood brother is but I’m jolly well happy that I’ve got one’. Daniel said this with an exciting whisper to his voice and his eyebrows raised.

Marking the Moment

I found that one of the most helpful ways to figuring out what the most significant parts of the play was, was to mark the moment with a freeze frame or maybe with some slow-motion to that particular part of the play. One of the moments I marked was when Mrs Johnston agreed with Mrs Lyons that she would give away one of her children. I marked this by repeating the line ‘yes ok, you can have one’

Another moment I marked was when Eddie and Mickey became blood brothers. I did this by myself and Tejal devising a series of freeze frames and each of which consisted of our hands getting closer to each other until they finally touched.

Development

One of the things I would like to develop is my monologue. If this was to be set on a stage then I would have a white light centre stage and one blue light on stage right and stage left. I would be centre stage and while I was performing in the role of Linda when she was older I would wear a long brown shirt and a white blouse. These would not be bright colours to show that this was not a happy, bright stage in my life, it was boring, ordinary and dull but I would wear black high heels to show that deep down somewhere inside of me there was the bubbly crazy Linda just waiting to come out.

When I am performing the younger Linda I would wear a bright red dress with ribbons in my hair, white frilly socks and white shoes. By wearing this it would show that I was still innocent and carefree. Those are things that I would develop about my monologue.

I would also develop the scene between Mrs Lyons and Mrs Johnston where Mrs Lyons is getting aggravated at the fact that Mrs Johnston (the maid and birthmother of Eddie) keeps on trying to pick up Eddie and mother him so she decides to fire her, with pay. I performed this scene with Katherine (Mrs Lyons). We began the production by me (Mrs Johnston) sweeping up around the table and shopping every now and again because I noticed that Mrs Lyons was following me around the table. I soon gave up and asked her why she was following me. She replied by saying that she thought it would be best if I stopped working there. This is where the scene froze and I gave my opinion on what was happening at that particular moment.

If I could develop that scene I would be wearing a maids costume and my hair would be tied back. I would make sure that their was a calm atmosphere at the beginning of the scene so I would make it normal lighting and as Katherine began to follow me the atmosphere would get more tense and the lighting would change to a bluish red colour and then to a piercing red as Mrs Lyons announces that she would prefer it if I had left. I would mark the moment by Mrs Lyons saying ‘I would prefer it if you left’ and then the lights sharply changing to red.

I would also change the pitch of my voice because I think that this has a big impact on Mrs Johnston’s character. If I were to develop it I would make it sound deeper to show that even though Mrs Lyons is the one calling all the shots, Mrs Johnston is still a dominant female. It would also show that she is not scared of Mrs Lyons.

Evaluation

I think that studying ‘Blood Brothers’ has been very good as I have learned how to develop the skills I already have and I have learned some new ones as well. I have learned how to put myself into the characters shoes and imagine how they would be feeling at that exact moment. So for example I would maybe be playing Mickey and to fully bring out the emotions of this character I would imagine that the same thing had happened to me and by doing this I would make my character more believable because the emotions would actually be real.

I enjoyed this unit because I got to watch many performances and I would like to evaluate Tejal and Soraya’s duelologue because I found this quite interesting. Tejal and Soraya were acting as the younger and older Mickey. They rotated round in a circle as they were delivering their lines. Tejal was acting as the younger, she put on a high loud voice as to emphasise the childishness of her character and I found this very effective. Soraya had a lower pitched voice and her body was very harsh and expressive.

She said things like ‘how could she do this to me, go behind my back and see….him….ill kill him’. Soraya said this in an angry tone and her facial expressions were very distinctive. Her face was screwed up and her fists were clenched, this showed that she was very angry and frustrated. I found this very effective because this made me engaged and I wanted to hear more of what she was saying. I felt her pain.

I would also like to evaluate my monologue as I think it was one of my strongest performances as I was acting as Linda. I began as the older version of Linda. I started by saying ‘how could he do this to me’ I showed my frustration by holding my hands to my head and clenching my fists. I think that the audience found this effective because they were engaged in my conversations. I think that when I played the young Linda that I had made the biggest effect on the audience because I really connected to my character because I giggled and I was lying on the floor. I found this very effective because I found that the audience has smiles on their faces when I did this.

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