Throughout the play we get the feeling that Mrs Farley is a weaker character from the rest and I have chosen two parts of the play to portray this. The first part is pages 41 – the end of scene three. In this scene Mrs Farley is being ostracized by the other actresses because she is pregnant and also in this scene she goes through the awful ordeal of trying to have an abortion. In this scene I would have Mrs Farley wearing really tight clothes so that she was not obviously pregnant to the audience or to Mr Betterton because she would most certainly lose her job.
She would have little makeup and be pale and drawn looking, as she had been up with morning sickness or to show that leading a life as a pregnant woman is very tiring and hard. Mrs Farley says “I went back looking for the special stairs but I couldn’t find them. They took me there before and it was easy, but when I went back I couldn’t find them. It was like a maze. I wandered and wandered. You get tired. Where will I go? ” – I think this should be said in a quiet and mousey voice to portray that she is very helpless without the King or even a male supporter because it will be so hard for her to make money without one. It was like a maze. ” Should be said adamantly as if to show the others that she realises she needs to try and went back but to no avail. “Where will I go? ” should be said with desperation and pleading and Mrs Farley should move closer to Mrs Betterton because Mrs Betterton has all the power in this scene (as she is the theatre owners’ wife). The body language when this line is said should be big and she should be flailing her arms and making a prayer with her hands.
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When Mrs Farley turns to Mrs Marshall and says “help me”, it should be said so that it is barely audible to the audience and she should suddenly hang her head and wring her hands together to show desperation, underneath this request she is asking Mrs Betterton to help her abort her child, so her voice should be strained as if she doesn’t really wan to ask at all. As Doll says “I knew a woman who rotted inside, after” Mrs Farley should cringe and turn her head away from the audience so that they can see her pain.
She must utter a small scream and gasp with the realisation of what she is about to put herself through. On page 43 Mrs Farley says “hold my hand someone”. I think that the actress should say this with desperation and anguish and reach out for the nearest person and grab at their sleeves. Her body language should be open and desperate because she is just about to undergo the abortion. As she rips the rag from her mouth and screams “No! I can’t, I can’t” she should fall forward as if she has fainted and the lines should be shouted in a high pitched voice.
When Mrs Farley exits she says to Mrs Marshall “Maybe you should have a care. Maybe your luck will run out. ” She should stand right up in to Mrs Marshalls’ face and look her dead in the eyes to show that she is angry with her and to try and convince her that she is not as helpless as she looks, as she walks out she should run holding her baby-stomach holding her head high to disguise the fact that she is terrified of what lies before her. The next scene I want to look at is the very short scene of scene 4. She says “two pence, tow pence.
I do anything. You can punch me”. She should say this as if she is auctioning herself and she should show her arm to the passers by to show them the bruises where others have already punched her. She should be getting close to others on the stage to show that she no longer has any dignity and they cn do anything to her. She should be desperate because after having her child and leaving the theatre there is nothing left for her except prostitution. Another important line in this scene is “should’ve washed my face”.
I think she should say this to herself under her breath in a sort of ‘if only’ way. She should be acting slightly deranged and looking around the audience in a dazed manor as if she is away with the fairies. This shows she has lost all her pride in her appearance by not going to the theatre or acting any longer. It also suggests that she has nothing left to live for. Also the baby has tired her out so much that she is too tired to do the daily things like wash her face. This quote is also stating the obvious that she is now living on the streets so she is dirty and un savoury.
The last line I think has real importance is “I left it. Had to. Little white body. Laid it on some steps. ” She should say this line slowly as if she is deranged and talking to herself. She should look suilty, perhaps looking up to the heavens as if to ask god to look after her child. Her facial expressions should be pained and distressed whilst she is remembering. In those days is was impossible for her to keep the child after leaving the theatre and in the end I think she has gone mad from the stress and horrific circumstances she has been through.