We have been looking at a rather strange and confusing play called ‘The Bald Prima Donna’. We have done a lot of work based on this piece of text. One of the improvisations we performed was based on a part in the play where they are gossiping about Bobby. Clare, Natalie and I performed this piece while we were in an office gossiping and giggling about other workers. We made it quite stereotypical as we stopped working as soon as the boss left and started filing our nails and we put our feet on the desk. We spoke in a really common accent and giggled really loudly to emphasise the gossiping. We were trying to impress each other by having the best news about somebody else.
Another improvisation we did was where we were married and did a repeated routine everyday and had ritualised conversations with one another. Ian and I were a married couple in our 90’s who said the same jokes everyday and carried out the same task’s day in and day out. We used good body language by walking slowly and with our backs bent, also our voices were croaky. My partner and I decided to make our performance funny so we did a little dance, the fact that we were so old made it very humorous. This piece was purposeful as it related to the part where Mr and Mrs Martin play a little game where they forget who each other are. They most probably do this quite a lot and confuse others.
One part in the play was when Mr and Mrs Martin and Mr and Mrs Smith were together but had nothing to say to each so there were a lot of awkward silences and they also came up with some very silly stories. One of our performances was related to this where two couples had a lot of awkward silences. I showed that I was quite bored and trying to pass time by tapping and looking around a lot. We came up with some silly stories to discuss like somebody putting on a hat. We all acted enthusiastically about this story and repeated words like ‘great’.
The hardest improvisation was one where none of us communicated with each other. I was in a group of three. Clare was the mother, Natalie was the teenage daughter and I was the father. There were many secrets that were kept from each of the family members and were revealed during this five-minute piece. We tried to make this piece quite dramatic as we shouted quite a lot and acted upset. One of the secrets was the husband and wife splitting up we showed this by having big arguments when the daughter wasn’t there. Whenever Natalie was around Clare and I acted very nice to each other, we showed this by holding hands and talking in a very soft tone.
Natalie’s secret was that she was pregnant, the audience discovers this while she is on the phone a friend. The mother does not want Natalie to tell us so she keeps interrupting so Natalie has to shout out that she is pregnant. This really shows that nobody communicates as we are still not listening to her. As I was the father during this performance I had to sit and walk like a man and speak in a deep voice. We made this performance quite strange as we sat down and continued to have our dinner just as we started even though all these secrets had been revealed. This piece related a part in the play where the couples are having a conversation but they are all talking about different things so they do not communicate.
The final piece that we did was where we were in a normal behaviour in a conventional situation, then breaking the rules. In my group the adults turned into children and vice versa. I was an adult I showed this by walking straight and talking in a slightly deeper voice. We talk to each other about the news and drank cups of tea like adults. There was then an argument and the adults went off stage, when we return we are acting very childishly by fighting over toys and running around a lot. I show that I am a child by talking in a higher voice and acting clumsy. The children gradually become more grown up and start smoking and checking the stock market. The Grandmother then takes away the children and we a tantrum. This piece relates to the all of ‘The Bald Prima Donna’ because nothing in this play is what it seems and is all very strange.