In this workshop, we were aiming to develop our knowledge and understanding of the play Blood Brothers, and to build on our understanding of the play. To do this, we took part in a series of exercises across the day. We looked at the synopsis of the play in groups of 4 or 5. We created a practical comic strip/ play in less than a minute. The reason for this was to brief ourselves on the out line of the story.
We used freeze-frame for the opening and ending lines, narrated action to explain to the audience what was going on in the scene, freeze-frame into action to mark the moment, and then we ran the scenes together. I played the narrator in this scene. I used the above techniques to try and raise the awareness of the story. I feel I was successful in my role as I briefed the audience on what was happening but also remained a focal point for the actors whilst they were becoming their characters.
Throughout the play, class was a major issue. By looking at the photo of the two brothers we can see a huge difference in their costumes. Both brothers are wearing a school uniform, however, they are in a very different state. Mickey’s is torn and tattered. He has holes in his jumper, baggy socks, and scuffed shoes. Eddie’s is much smarter. All his clothes fit, and they are respectable. He shows no sign of dirt and his shoes are laced and shiny.
In pairs, we used the photo as a stimulus to improvise a scene between the two brothers. It is the scene in which they first become blood brothers. I have annotated the scene below. To practise levels of class we took part in an exercise, which helped to develop how we move our body depending on different status levels. We walked around the classroom in a neutral position until something was shouted out. It could be, “pauper” or “The Queen”, but as our teacher called out the names we had to show the physicality of that particular character. It demonstrated how we actually saw other people and tested our own ability on how to become different characters.
We used the same exercise to become children of different ages. To test our physicality of children our teacher asked as to portray different aged children from our viewpoint. The body language, and physical body handling develops as a child ages. To show this we demonstrated how we thought a child of Mickey and Eddie’s year would behave. I thought that the child would fidget, and run around a lot. I also laughed a lot even if I made it obvious that I didn’t know what I was laughing at. We used the use of space and levels to show this. I thought it was an extremely useful and successful exercise as I gained so much knowledge on how a child really behaves.
We showed how children are inquisitive and ask a lot of questions. In another exercise we showed our ability to play children by pretending to be a lot younger. We had to run to an object in the room and try and get people to listen to what it was, however, we had to call it something else. For example, if it were the door that I was pointing to, I may call it a banana, but I would have to really try and convince another person that it was. This is because I believed that the object really was a banana. It demonstrated how a child would believe things because someone else tells them. A child only knows that a ball is a ball because they have been told so.
We used props for our child improvisations. A bucket was placed in the centre of the room. As children, we could enter into the middle of the room and begin to play with the bucket, however we do not know what the bucket is, and therefore tell all our friends that it is something completely different. It was a successful exercise as it helped me to get into the role of s child. I was much better prepared now to continue with the Eddie and Mickey improvisations.