The music, as I mentioned earlier, came from the orchestra set on the second floor of the sets, and thought the music was live, it also came from the big speakers set at the front of the auditorium. The characters almost all had a solo each but the ones who sang most were Mrs. Johnston and the Narrator, because the narration was almost always in songs and Mrs. Johnston narrated the story sometimes also. I found that the music in this musical was much more jazzy and contemporary than many other musicals where there are whole orchestras playing classical tunes for the characters to sing to in the orchestra pit at the front of the auditorium.Order now
Another thing was that there were not so much songs in the play, when most musicals have less speech than song, this one had about the equal amount of each or maybe even more speech, there wasn’t much use of harmony used either, the only ones I noticed were the times the narrator put a bottom part into Mrs. Johnston’s singing and when Mickey and Eddie sang the end of ‘My friend’. The use happy music when Eddie and Mickey played with each other and the use of tragic music when Mrs. Lyons is going mad also helped emphasise the characters feelings.
Other sound effects were also used, such as the sound of Mickey, Linda and Eddie shooting at a tin can with an air gun and the gunshots at the end. They often came from different parts of the auditorium and I believe they were all done live. Costumes were also made to fit the social status of each character, Mickey always wore scruffy, dirty, torn or normal working class clothes the first top he appears with is so worn he can stretch it over his knees (he also wears mostly jeans when he is older) and his hair was always messy and spiked up.
Eddie, on the other hand, is clean, tidy and generally seen in his school uniform (when he is older he wears things that are not jeans, long coats etc. ) his hair is smoothed down and split down the side. The acting, I thought was very good indeed. The actors were so convincing that they actually looked the age they were acting, whatever age they were acting they did things like speak deliberately in a contralto voice and making dithery movements when they were young, acting cool and strong when they were in their teens and being as an adult in their class would do when they are older.
Also things such as the imaginary horse, the imaginary gun, the cinema and the school bus ride were done to make it look like things were there when they weren’t. That is an amazing part in non-realistic theatre. Humour also played a big part in the musical, as it kept the audience interested and balanced out the sadness and conflict in the play. This play made me consider Social Status and Class difference, It seemed a bit ironic how the Johnston’s lived on the breadline at the beginning, happy with whatever they managed to get, even being able to eat properly was a luxury to them.
On the other hand, I saw the Lyons’s, never content with what they had, always wanting what they did not have. The portrayal of their lives and characterizations were so vivid that it shocked me. I know how much most mothers love their own children that I almost felt the physical pain and guilt that Mrs. Johnston portrayed on stage. I also watched how such small things as being given sweets made Mickey happy. This play really made me think of the lives that many people lead in that time and the lives that people are still leading even nowadays.