Our class were asked to create a piece on Henry Vth. We worked in three separate groups to produce a non-naturalistic piece. Once everyone had performed we were then asked to evaluate a group of our choice, but not your own, I chose Jasmine’s group. In this evaluation I will be talking about, what I liked and disliked about the group I chose, what could be changed, what was the highlight and other detailed analysis. I chose Jasmine’s group because their performance caught my eye. Their piece was very well rehearsed, and you could tell how much effort had gone into making it.
I felt the highlight of the piece and the part I will remember most was the end scenes. It came over to me as two scenes combined into one. The first scene had dead bodies sprawled across the battlefield and the second scene had a little girl slowly walking through the poppy fields. Poppies symbolising the many people, who lost their lives in the war, I found this kept my attention because it was an emotional scene that you could relate to. The little girl was singing “ring a ring a roses” in a mysterious dead-like voice.
The two scenes then merged back into one, which left a powerful ending with the freeze frame of dead bodies, this was effective because it made you feel the true effects of the war. This is another scene that striked me most about the play with all the good ideas interpreted in this scene and others to make an overall good performance. The message of the piece was reminiscence, it came over as all the emotions both family and soldiers went through before, during and after the war.
The performance was overall very good and I would only make some minor changes to improve the piece. In certain scenes they needed to project their voices as sometimes the music was louder than they were, for example, when each person moved in sequence towards the dead body from the marching scene, I think the words needed to be heard because of their strong meaning. Another part of the piece that could’ve been improved on was facial expressions. They tended to put all the emotion into their voices and not in their faces. For example, when each person moved in sequence and was saying the strong words they all could’ve, to make it more believable, use facial expression to relate to their words.
The piece kept my attention throughout, they included freeze frames and non-naturalistic scenes of the duration of the piece. There was one particular freeze frame in their performance that was very powerful. There were three separate freeze frames. In the centre of the stage there was two people forming a strong barrier. On the left there was one person on their own reaching out and shielding his face, the opposite side was different levels, crying into hands, shielding faces and hunched over, showing a rush of emotions. This was not only showing emotions from soldiers but also from family. In this freeze frame it depends on where you’re sitting to interpret a different meaning. This is one of five scenes that stood out to me.
One scene that also stood out for me was the second scene. They were sat in a triangular shape in the centre of the stage, a scatter of levels all forming different freeze frames, in sequence with a line from the play. This was strong to me because they didn’t go out of character, they were all in time with the music and they made contact with the audience which then made us involved. Another scene that caught my eye was the marching scene, the music in the background went with what they were doing, all their faces concentrated and they came across as a strong line of soldiers, they in turn said a word.
It had got the last soldier and she went forward and repeated the same words two times, this created an atmosphere which then lead to a final scream which ended the scene on a high because it was unexpected. I especially liked this because they started the scene off with strong soldiers and nearer to then end of the scene it shows their emotions. This shows how time had changed from being so strong and confident at the beginning of the war, to breaking down nearer to the end of the war. I found this very interesting and could see a lot off effort had gone into this part, to make a simple scene mean so much.
Their performance included a lot of non-naturalistic physical theatre, in most of the scenes they included slow motion, repeat, tone, and levels. They included slow motion in one scene at the end, in the little girls voice whilst walking around the dead bodies, this kept my attention because it was mystical and the tone of her voice was quite scary. The way the group interpreted the physical theatre into their piece was good; they added things in at the right moments, though some could’ve been improved on as I’ve said before. I found this also kept my attention.