This piece of work is based on a section of script from a play. The segment is part of a play called ‘Split Down the Middle’ by David Campton. The segment is a duologue that is about two girls (Josie and Fran) who are on a works outing. The scene is set in a rowing boat in the middle of the ocean surrounded by fog. Problems cumulate, when a small whole is discovered, and the boat is realised to be sinking!
We liked this idea as we thought it was a good script that was well written and suited to the abilities of myself and the other girls in the scene. We liked the humorous dialogue and the situation of the script. The ages and respective temperament of the characters we though suited us, and we enjoyed reading the script together.
There are two characters in the script. These are both young women. One is called Fran, and the other Josie. Josie is a much more lively character than Fran. She is quick witted, with a fiery temper and a lashing tongue. She blames Fran for them being stuck in the middle of the ocean. Josie considers herself to be above Fran, and is a harder character than Fran. She is dramatic, and over the top. However in the last part of the script, she relents and shows her true affection for Fran. We reached some of Josie’s character by discussion, as part of it was already written on the script as a pointer.
Fran is a much more slow character. She is simple and displays a degree of thoughtlessness that causes Josie to react dramatically in some scenes. She is not quite sure of herself, and almost reveres Josie as the superior character. However, she is totally unfazed by the aspect of death, and in the end, ahs to turn the comforter, and consoler of Josie when she has a complete breakdown. We got Fran’s character the same way we got Josie’s. I played the part of Fran.
To set the scene, we paced two chairs together in the centre of the stage. This was to represent the bench on the rowing boat. We chose to use minimal props because we thought that would be easier and more effective than having some props, but not very many. The idea of swaying as if the boat was on the open seas was discussed, but we abandoned it as we though it would be very difficult to sustain, and it would ruin the simplicity of the scene.
In my opinion the best scene in the play is the last scene where Fran and Josie reconcile and sit in peace. I think this was very effective as it brought the emotions of the scene to light. It had a good use of tension and focus was required between the characters. It brings to light the bond between two close friends. It was also one of the scenes where we knew our words!
In contrast, I thought the middle of the play was slightly weak. We were not very sure of the words, and this seeped slightly into the performance. The atmosphere was not built up enough, and the body language between the characters was slightly wrong. The focus was not very good, and we could have made a better use of contrast between the characters.
I was slightly nervous about performing this piece as I was not 100% sure of the words. I tried not to let this seep into my work, but it may have a little. However, I calmed down once I was in the theatre. The piece had to be performed slightly different to the way we did in rehearsals as we were used to rehearsing in quite a small room, and now we had to do it in a theatre. We had to project our voice considerably more than we were used to, and also had to act to a much larger audience.
The audience were very helpful, as they found the scene quite funny in all the correct places, and not in places that it wasn’t meant to be funny. They also applauded at the right time, and gave encouragement.
I think that this piece worked mostly, as we managed to create a good focus between us. We did not forget our words, and built a successful atmosphere. Though we felt nervous, we managed to perform the scene successfully. I think that we did the script justice, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.
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