The play Mother courage is written by Bertolt Brecht in 1930, it was written in German. He was a German poet, play writer and theatre director. He had created nine play, they are mostly at the darker side. They were mainly focused on family, wars and realistic. He wants the audience to think. He had created the play Mother Courage to express himself during World War II; his life was pretty much about war all the time and he was always in the middle of the wars.
He probably has no one single good thought about wars, so he always writes about the darker side. Mother Courage was one of the plays that were written in an attempt to counter the raise of Fascisms and Nazism. The musicians were placed in view of the audience so that they could be seen. The audience was focused on issue being displayed rather then the characters and emotions. He made some weird things in between scenes to make audience remember that they are watching a play. He made characters talking to the audience, change costumes and unique acting. He was trying to show how bad war is, and why he believe what he believes.
My first impression to Mother courage was it is dark, sad and depressing. The actors broke the fourth wall to communicate with the audience, to let them ‘be’ in the play, to feel it, to remember it. Music had been used in the play, it was some kind of sad music, it was played during the three child’s death. The other music had been played was some marching songs, to show the power and strength of armies. Placard and projections were used at the beginning, middle and ending. I think the part where the armies dance while march was the most interesting part, it entertains the audience which creates a feeling of you know how strong they are and feel the power they’ve got.
I really like the background designing, for example the sliding board and Mother Courage’s cart. There are sliding board, stairs and another floor on the stage. The sliding board is made out of wood so it was wooden color and it covered three fourths of the centre stage, the actors will sit on it, lean on it or stand on it to create use of spaces and levels. The stairs were in black and i think they are made out of metal and it covered the stage right and left.
The other floor was located on the upper stage. There are two stage added on the sides along with the two big screens. The period of time for the settings is about at the 1920’s. I clearly remember this scene because I really like it, it was during the war. The actors were running around the sliding board, up the stairs and down the stage, acting really scared, afraid and lost. It really matched the scene and it created tensions to make us really want to watch it.
The costumes and make up were superb. They match the theme, their character and their personality. The make up was not over done and the costume fits the way they look. I think the soldiers will be a good example. They’ve got black, dark green and green clothing, eyeliners to make them look angrier, and a gun for prop that shoes that they are the soldiers. I like how are they dressed differently.
I would like to talk about the prostitutes. They were prostitutes that wanted Mother Courage to sell her cart. They were always trying to catch audience’s attention using a different voice to express her, facial expressions to show audience how she feel and some movement to entertain us, interest us. That’s the way they show the attitude. I totally believe the performance, it was touching and they really show what was reality in the past. The way they tell us about it was unique, using effective words, doing weird things etc. It was really effective because they let us understand what had happened, what is war really and the reality.
I remembered in the beginning, there was a girl sitting on her knee with head down. That represented how depressing and painful the play is, I think it was really effective and it was catchy. Another image was the soldiers dancing with their gun, I thought that was the ‘weird’ moment to show us we are watching a play. I think the last image was the funeral at the end; they all covered their face walking slowly down the hall with a miserable face. That creates tension. We can feel the unpleasant and distressing inside them.
The story, emotions and the dance are my favorites in this production. It was really convincing and compelling, especially the girl kneed down with head down and the funeral at the end. This play made me thought about reality in the past, ‘Are the stories my grandparents told me believable?’ and it told me that nothing is impossible. It did work really well as a piece of theater and I would love to recommend it to my friends. I didn’t understand why did the soldiers kidnap Mother Courage’s daughter; why did the prostitute was trying to attract Mother Courage’s daughter. I think the play was great but some improvements could be done for example the video and some talking part had bored the audiences so hope that I can see a superb play soon.