Drama Essay – Section 1 Our task was to dramatise and perform an extract from the play text ‘Blood Brothers’. The performance had to take into consideration the intentions of the playwright and use an appropriate style. My group chose to perform seven scenes from the play. The beginning scene for our piece is looking at how the lack of money affected the children at that time, with children that were complaining they were hungry and that they didn’t have all they wanted and showing that the mother couldn’t do anything about it.
We chose this scene to start our piece as it shows the audience straight away the time and place the whole play is set in. Mrs Johnston then does a small monologue about how she is coping and how difficult life would be with two more children on the way. I feel this scene allows me to demonstrate my acting ability as it is a monologue and I have to show a lot of emotion when performing it. The fourth scene shows how superstitious Mrs Lyons is and introduces the theme of superstition, which plays a major part throughout the original play.
The ‘Our Sammy’ speech was included in our piece as it is a key moment within the text. The final scenes show Mickey and Eddie meeting and how Mrs Johnston reacts when she realises they are friends. We felt that these scenes would be suitable for our piece as the meeting of the two boys is very important to the play and the final scene, again, incorporates the theme of superstition. Willy Russell wrote Blood Brothers in the early 1980’s. He grew up in a female dominated, working class family on the outskirts of Liverpool. He trained as a hairdresser and then undertook a variety of jobs before becoming a playwright.
Blood Brothers is an adaptation of a Liverpudlian folk tale about two twins that are separated at birth. The main themes within the play are; Nature & Nurture, Money, Class, Childhool, Love, Superstition and Fate. The play is set in the 1980’s and the playwright draws on a lot of the contextual social and cultural issues, such as the Thatcher Government, Working Class, Marilyn Monroe and Pop Culture of the 1980’s, when creating both the characters and the drama. The play, Blood Brothers is an example of Musical Theatre.
Musical theatre is when songs or music are involved in the piece of drama to help tell the story. The story line and dramatised scenes are fairly naturalistic but various theatrical devices are used to support the story telling. Narration and song are the theatrical devices used most in the play. I imagine this would be because having the narrator there, explaining every part of the story as it happens makes the play a lot easier to follow. Direct audience address is also used quite frequently throughout the piece of drama, aswell as dramatic irony and flash forward.
Without these conventions the play would be boring & not as easy to follow. The play is ultimately a tragedy as it ends with the death of both protagonists. However there are moments of comedy and romance throughout. The play relies on theatrical devices and dramatic conventions, such as direct audience address, to communicate both characters and ideas to the audience. Working in this genre and style can show your abilities as a performer as it needs you to show a lot of emotion through voice, facial expression, and stage presence.