This play also had elements of humour throughout it. Milton, the parrot was able to create a funny atmosphere and added an aspect of humour to ‘Nation’. In order to create a successful funny atmosphere you must make the audience laugh and Milton achieved this through using characterisation. Milton used body language to portray his character as a parrot by moving the way a parrot does; popping his shoulders forward and moving his head forward and backwards. This was effective in creating a funny atmosphere as it made the audience laugh as his character was so realistic. This showed the audience that the actor must have worked hard and studied parrots in order to achieve such fantastic realism. The audience laughed multiple times in Milton’s scenes which show that he was successful in creating a funny atmosphere.
Also, in Act Two, Milton positioned himself at the top of some ladders and overlooked everyone else on the stage. This allowed the audience to think that Milton placed himself at a higher status than everyone and believed he was the best. However, the director actually intended Milton to be seen as a narrator, causing the audience to laugh at their wrong interpretation. This is what the director intended; he wanted the audience to misunderstand him, so that when they finally understood, it would create humour.
Throughout the scenes Milton used a variety of techniques such as repetition to create a funny atmosphere. This was effective as it allowed the audience to interact with the play as they were capable of knowing when he was next going to repeat. Milton repeated a phrase multiple times in Nation, a phrase in which Daphne originally said to Mau. “There’s nothing a cuppa’ tea can’t fix”. This quote allowed Milton to lift tense atmospheres , for example when Mau was getting very angry and people were scared Milton was able to lift the mood by saying “There’s nothing a cuppa’ tea can’t fix”. By doing this it created a funny atmosphere as it was unexpected and sudden.
Another moment in the play, Nation, that very effective in creating a specific atmosphere was when they used the birds. The birds were puppets that helped to create an eerie atmosphere. It was very successful in doing this as it brought in an aspect of fear related to death. When the birds first appeared on the stage beams of red light shone done upon the cast, this allowed the audience to make the connection between the birds and danger as red is associated with danger.
Also, the first time they were on stage the birds were eating away at the dead bodies that lay there after the storm, this caused an element of fear as the animal was eating away at a human. As the birds moved downstage it made the audience feel very intimidated as they were directly in front of them and the audience had just figured out that humans were the birds prey. The men controlling the birds helped with creating an eerie atmosphere as they were dressed in black so the audience were unable to see them. This meant that the audience were led to believe these birds were real, so the director intended to scare the audience.
This puppet was used very effectively as the men controlling the birds had to work together and make sure they were in time, this showed the audience commitment. Overall, this prop was used to its best potential to create an eerie atmosphere, as the prop was able to rapidly change the emotions in the theatre from sadness to fear. In conclusion Theatrical skills have been proven to successfully create a specific atmosphere towards the audience. There are a variety of ways in which to create a certain atmosphere for the audience and moments in Nation have shown that simple effects such as lighting and sound can create a specific type of atmosphere or more original ideas can be used such as props and caricatures.