This lesson, my group (group 2) managed to perform our piece and we had a bit of time for us to rehearse and decide the ways we were going to go during the rehearsal. We first decided on having a tension-filled, angry monologue for Oedipus, the famous ‘let it burst’ speech, however we were given some helpful pointers on the context of the scene and the emotional state the character would be in. We therefore changed the monologue to a more sensitive touch, with softer tones, rather than the sharp ones we had used before. We did this because it was a more accurate representation of the feelings that Oedipus would have had and we could make the scene more natural with long pauses which add to the tension, but in a much changed way to the original way.
Another change we made to the scene was to have the dialogue between the two characters – one which we had apparently been performing quite tersely – was changed to be more tense and show a larger amount of conflict between the two characters, one a prince who wants to find the answer to his questions no matter how despicable it may be, and the other an old shepherd wearied by his travels who is trying to obscure the past which would cause the King such distress. The two characters conflicted completely, with one being rather young and powerful and the other being old and weak or frail. This we tried to show by the use of the talk, with Oedipus being increasingly persistent – to the point where he threatens the shepherd with his life – and the shepherd being persistent as well, however waning at the end, in contrast with Oedipus.
In trying to show these conflicts, we had to add hints of violence, but also other parts such as levels, to try and show the social priority that Oedipus had over the shepherd. The play was automatically transformed from a laconic piece to one which the audience could understand – even if the circumstances made it hard to relate to. The end result was one where the actors knew what they were doing and the effect it would have on the audience, and the performance overall. After performing our piece, we were told the flaws (including pace and clarity of voice) and then commended on choosing a performance which was more often considered as a play for A-level, rather than GCSE
During the time we were performing and rehearsing, the two other groups were busy adapting their performance to the advice Mr. R had given the lesson before. Not being in those groups myself, I cannot give a direct description of what was happening in them, however I can say that they seemed to be doing well and their performances (or what I saw of them) seemed to be improving greatly.
So, basically, the lesson was a success.
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