Live Theatre Analysis - Theatre Essay Example

The set used for Vernon God Little was highly symbolic and simplistic; when we walked into the theatre we could visually see that there were flowers, cards and memorable items attached on the audiences seats above our heads, which already created a sombre atmosphere around the theatre - Live Theatre Analysis introduction. Once seated, we saw that the stage was mainly bare with a chair on the left hand side of the stage. This suggested to the audience that the play would be non-naturalistic unlike, a west end theatre production.

The set throughout the play was non-naturalistic as the props used were to represent things, for example they used the sofa’s to represent cars on the stage, which had headlight on the front of the sofas or when they used the sofa’s to show the audience that it represented coach seats. The director Ruffa’s Norris did this so that the audience were able to use their imaginative more, which made the audience more independent. The set changed frequently throughout the play showing the audience that time and the plot was moving on.


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A significant time when the set changed was when the gold chains came down from the ceiling showing the audience indicating that the characters were trapped in a courtroom. Another example of when the set would change was from Vernon’s room to their sitting room. The set would change from Vernon’s room, which was beige/woody and bare showing the audience that Vernon and his mother did not have a high statues or class, which then changed to their sitting room. The characters moved the set around while they were acting on stage meaning that they were not wasting time with set changes showing the audience how skilful they were.

On several occasions Vernon used the audience’s space involving and interacting with the audience more for example, when Vernon was getting on the coach from the bottom of the stage. The exits and entrances were used significantly when other character were walking into the scene or exiting. For example, Pam would saunter “sexily” from the entrance and when finished saunter back out of the exit. Another example is when the police would be on stage the exits and entrances were used frequently showing their characterisation as they fast paced characters.

There were several props used within the play which were significant for example, the toy guns which were used frequently, suggesting that there was a theme of violence and crime in Vernon God Little. This ties in with the beginning of the play, in where the character Jesus shot 17 students. Another important prop used was the black telephone used by Vernon and Taylor. The colours used in the set of Vernon God Little were neutral colours showing the statues and class of the whole community, which contrasted the colours used when Vernon went to Mexico.

The colours were bright and vivid fitting with the set making it as realistic as it could be. A momentous moment in the play was when Vernon was about to die. There was a prop used which was representing the cross on where Jesus died. Vernon was strapped on like Jesus and was levitated upwards to the ceiling highly portraying the theme of religion within the play. Costume used in Vernon God Little was mainly symbolic to the audience. The main character Vernon, wore jeans and a plain bright top, which represented his age and his class.

Vernon characterisation fitted to a troubled teenager. His movements were quite awkward and he tended to shrug his shoulder and mover his arms around. This could suggest to the audience how Vernon is vulnerable and is just a young child. He’s use of voice was a southern accent like all the other characters, making his characterisation more realistic. However, Bradley who was played by a much older guy wore clothes that were brighter than the other characters, which was mocking what teenagers wore, and making the play more comical.

His movements were quite stereotypical of a teenage boy. He was quite childish, swore behind other characters backs and made faces empathising the character he was playing. Most of the characters wore cowboy boots showing the setting of the play and the period it was taking place in. The sheriff and other authorities wore brown shirts and brown trousers, with a gun holder at the side, which was mocking and being stereotypical to “rednecks” in Texas. The mother wore stereotypical clothes, which represented the character she was.

She wore a denim skirt, plain top, slippers and a cardigan, which indicated her age. Several of the characters had to do a costume change to show that they were another character, for example the girl who played Ella had to change her costume to fit her other character Taylor, who wore denim hot pants and a top that exposed a majority of her skin. However, Ella wore a dirty looking dressed that covered her body to her knees. This shows the audience the variety of skills the characters need to be able to change there character rom one to the other and the costume helps the audience visualise its effect. There was a significant use of music used in Vernon God Little. Music was a major theme within the play as all the characters were singing especially the character Jesus who would break up the play with him singing and playing a guitar. This was the only time in the play in where the whole cast did not participate in singing, which created a more serious approach to the play contrasting the comical elements.

The music helped create the atmosphere around the theatre. However, the singing created a more comical effect in some scene’s, for example, the courtroom case had the two opposing defendants singing Vernon’s case while playing an electric guitar. The other casts were participating in the singing again mocking American society and their justice system. Overall, the play had important elements, which were represented within the play. The major themes portrayed were love, violence, religion etc… (Need to expand)

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