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A Midsummers Night Dream Evaluation

Opening night, 9th of March 2015:

Opening night for me went really well, Everyone put inn a lot of energy and the show was swift and smooth with few hicups, the biggest issue we faced on opening night was back stage. The mic’s were on back stage and a lot of people didnt realise and i found that a lot of people were talking fairly loudly and we were told that we could be heard through the speakers in the theatre. This for me let us down the most and I fell like if we conserved our energy more back stage we could have had even more energy to put into our performance. However even though we burned a lot of energy back stage we had more than enough on stage. We were able to execute the songs and dances with flat out performances by everyone and the singing and dancing in my opinion were very equal, the acting however was indeed the strongest of them all. Performances form Sian, Jack, Rachel and Harry were the ones who had always stood ot the most for me. This is because I feel like they were the ones with the most convincing performances through out the entire show. During the fairy Scene with Myself, Sophie, Beth, Sian and Jamie was the most enjoyable for me because of Sian’s performance as Puck, Sian was a joy to be on stage with and I feel like we worked very well together because we were able to make eye contact, freestyle a lot together in her and Jamie’s song “free”. Sian gave a very convincing performance of Puck in my opinion Because even when she was in the back ground she was using her face and body language to react to what is going on to help tell the story. We didn’t have a lot of time with the fairy scene with our director Lynn for this scene as it was rather small, but as it is an iconic scene in the play us five would meet up during lunch and breaks to make sure that we were able to be comfortable in it, know the movements we were going to use in the scene and develop it further. We also worked on the song free with Jamie and Sian and made the choice that if we were to free style most of “free” then it would be slightly different each night would would mean that the reactions of the fairies would be more realistic. However we kept in a specific point where Beth, myself and Sophie were in a line and Jamie and Sian would push us back then pull us forward a few times. This was effective on stage, I know this because the audience laughed quite a bit at this.
Rachel and Jacks dynamics as Oberon and Titania were incredible on stage, in the scene before “Love will tear us apart” you could see the similarities of the characters but more importantly the differences and the frustration between then which would have enhanced the two of the fairy gangs. I was also impressed with the Manchester accents that the two of them had because they had been working on them though the rehearsals of the show and they were able to give very strong convincing accents which flowed through the whole of the show.
Tonight Harry in the last scene for Pyramis and Thisbe, Harry came out with his sward in his underwear that was on over his blue onesie, he had never done this before and everyone on stage including myself found it very difficult not to laugh to much. This got an amazing reaction from the audience and they could not stop laughing. Harry’s energy in the whole of the show was consistent and pushed everyone to match him which meant that we all had to work that extra bit harder on stage which meant that our show was even more successful.
I do feel like the opening song “Step on” was the weakest of all the numbers and lacked energy and commitment, this is because I don’t feel like everyone on stage was producing the same level of sound nor performing with their faces and their movements, when we were circling I saw a lot of people looked more like rabbits in headlights than two gangs ready to fight for Oberon or Titania. Saying this, tonight was opening night and that may have been nerves and pressure getting to some of the members in the cast. Despite the opening number and the mic’s backstage i feel like by the interval we warmed that audience up and made them laugh a lot, the audience tonight was challenging because in the beginning they were fairy frosty, although that made everyone work harder. Overall I believe tonight was a success. The things that I would have changed for my own personal performance is that I would have been more vigilant with spacial awareness in the fairy scene because at some points i felt like it was very closed off for most of the scene so a lot of the audience members stilling stage left would not have seen much of the fairies faces and our reactions they would have seen more of our backs than anything else.

Closing Night, 12th of March 2015:

Closing night I think was the most successful performance, this is because we had a few nights practice with it being a proper performance in front of a paying audience, whereas before opening night happened I don’t think a lot of people comprehended that it was to be treated like a proper show. This lead the behaviour back stage to quite loud and disorderly. I know this because of the amount of noise coming though the speakers form the mic’s back-stage, even though they should have been turned off we still should have been quite just in case anyway through respect for the show. Although saying this by closing night the noise had reduced down and people were much more thoughtful towards it which meant people didn’t have to stand shoulder distance form the show relay to hear their queues. I also feel like this performance everyone gave one hundred and fifty percent into everything they were doing because we knew it was the last time we would be performing a version of ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’ with this cast. In some of the previous shows the energy was lacking some what, surprisingly when it was the whole cast numbers/scenes. For example the Thursday night performance, in the songs ‘Love will tear us apart’ and ‘Step on’ the performances were quite flat and felt dull on stage so it would have felt dull to the audience because not everyone was giving it one hundred and fifty percent like we did on closing night. The atmosphere was completely different and the audience was probably the best we had had which makes us want to be even better and raise the standard of the show even more so then the quality we already had it in. It was very prevalent to me that the audience had the tendency to effect our performances which is one of my biggest regrets with the show as it shouldn’t have an effect on our performance quality at all but sadly it did which is a factor to why our last night was our best night, the audience were laughing along and seemed to be very generous.
On the other hand this was the worst night form a personal performance point of view. This is because during the fairy scene I managed to stutter and stumble my way through the line “The cowslips tall, her pensioners be, in those cold coat spots you see those be rubies”. However I managed to keep going and not drop out of character which is the main thing. I was really disappointed with myself though because it was the only night that I managed to mess up but I am pleased that the scene kept going and got a good flow back and it didn’t have a strong effect on it over all. I enjoyed the part of the show that enjoyed most was the song that follows straight after the fairy scene which is ‘Free’ this is because we seemed to do more in it with the improvising and the audience laughed at some of the things Puck and Robin would do to rattle the fairies and then our reactions along with it.

In conclusion I think that the cast ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’ banded together very well and we were able to work together and work quickly to get things blacked and lines learnt so then we could clean the scene’s/dance’s that we needed to do then put everything together to make a show that flowed well and had a clear path to it. However if I could have changed anything it would have been to lean my lines in a different way as I feel like I had a strong pattern in the rhyming of the words because of the iambic pentameter I found it very difficult to break out of that. I feel like the show was a success as a whole and I found it a very enriching experience to work with a cast of that size which was challenging but because of the commitment and the drive to make the show great it made everything so much simpler.

 

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tech rehearsals

I found the tech and dress rehearsals very useful because it allows you to get used to the lighting and the amplified sound to the level it will be during show week. I don’t have any costume changes in the show but for the people who do and who have very quick changes, for example the backing singers, it gives them time to find out how much time they have and to practice those quick changes which is important because then they wont miss their queue for the songs and the scenes they are in. We also had a photographer in which was different because shows that I’ve done prior to this one, we have had a photographer their but we would just run the show and have photos taken at the same time with out really stopping. But when we had our photographer in their were certain scenes that had been picked out that were photographed which was a lot of stopping and starting because we had to repeat the scenes so then we could get the photographs done properly.

I found that the tech rehearsals are always more stressful then the show because its our last chance to get everything right before opening night. then if we don’t things right then opening night becomes a black void that no one wants to face but if we can get everything sorted in detail then opening night is much more breezy and enjoyable. I felt that overall the tech run went quite well with a few hiccups here and there considering that it was out first time doing the show in the actual space and it was out tech teams first time running the show with their lighting and props that they have made, etc. From a personal point of view I am feeling very confident and sure of what I am doing and where I am at what time, however in the scene with myself,fairy one, fairy three, puck and robin the scene gets very closed off and very central to the point when we’ve realised that we have closed it off so much its very difficult to open it back up. What I have suggested that we do is all get together and run the scene, realise what movements and positions we are placing ourselves in and how we can fix this. I am already aware that I walk towards puck and robin but then I don’t quite go further enough back and that I don’t stand so square with them because then the audience are only seeing one side of me and not my face at all. To fix this I am going to have my hair still curled and have a slightly fluffy crazy look to it with the pink in my hair but I will be pinning it up so then it is less of a distraction.

In the tech run I felt like the show went very slow but this was to be expected due to the mic’s, the music and the lighting that we needed to sort out along the way, however we need need to learn how to be around the mic’s because they are very sensitive and they can pick up the smallest mutter of a voice. This it was we have to be most careful I think because if the mic’s are on then they can be heard though out the head sets and speakers which is what we want to avoid because then the audience will be able to hear everything.

 

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Rehearsal log 26th feb 2016

Today in our rehearsals for ‘A Midsummer Nights dream’ we blocked a scene with Lysander and Demetrious in the lead up to their fight which doesn’t actually take place in the end. We came up with the idea of using chiffon material to create a ‘mist’ that Oberon’s gang would use to confuse the two of them so0 much that they would pass out. I helped to choreograph this, I thought it would be good to have two people in the middle with slightly shorter pieces of material so then Lysander and Demetrious would have two massive pieces of chiffon at the sides for their entry and to get caught up in at the sides but then when they are in the middle they have two people to confuse them both and make sure they never see each other so then the fight wouldn’t take place.

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monologues 26th of feb 2016

In this post I will be sharing the new monologues I am looking at for auditions I have thought of. My last two monologues were form ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Crucible’ I am trying to think of monologues that are more of a contrast from Lady Macbeth and The Crucible because they were both very strong and had a sinister feel to them. However I have found that I love to play strong female characters more than the ‘Juliet’ who is in an awe of love all of the time, but at the same time I feel like I need monologues like this as well to have a good range that I can play so I am more able to play a wide variety of characters.

Cathrine from ‘Snow White gets her say’ By Chris Wind

“That you don’t recognize me by name is but the first of my complaints about my tale. Oh you know me alright. I’m the main character—in a tale titled with the name of one of the men in the story. But what’s in a name? A lot. Especially if it’s a man’s name. This man’s name is the answer to the question upon which rests the fate of myself and my newborn child. So his name is very powerful, it is very important. My name apparently is not.

Nor is my life. For whether it is to be filled with joy and delight from being with my newborn, or empty with grief and loss from separation is to be decided by a mere guessing game.

Nor are my words important. I denied my father’s boast. I told the King I most definitely could not spin gold out of straw. But he didn’t believe me. Of course not. He chose instead to believe the words of an immature, egotistic, vain man. And I suffer the consequences.

The consequences. To pay for my father’s ridiculous lie, I lose my sanity, my freedom, and my dignity for three nights—and almost my child, forever. (And one sentence—one sentence in the whole tale is devoted to that ‘choice’, that decision to give up my child in return for my life.)

Because I ‘succeeded’ on the third night, I was ‘rewarded’ with marriage to the King. Thus, for all intents and purposes, I also lost my life. Can you imagine what it is like to be married—legally bound to honour and obey until death, and socioeconomically bound with little option but to stay and make the best of it—to a man who didn’t believe me, a man who locked me in a room for three nights, a man so greedy that he said three nights in a row he’d kill me unless I did as he wanted? And that was before he owned me.

But as the tale says, I am shrewd and clever. And I have learned the force of threat, and the importance of a name—especially if it is male. Proud fathers want very much to pass it on. But royal fathers—dear husband, aging Highness, what would happen to your precious lineage if my, your, only son were to suddenly—

Since I am not dead, and am living still…”

I love this monologue because the play is about the characters of classic fairy tales shown in a more feminist light, Cathrine is from the tale ‘Rumplestiltskin’ and this sheds a new light on how the actual main character feels in the tale and the aftermath of when she has been married to the king. I found this very refreshing and challenging because it shows a range of emotion, it has frustration, confusion, anger, sorrow, bitterness and fear. This is a huge range of emotion that would have to come though smoothly but clearly with little show of specific staging.

King John:Constance

 

“A wicked day, and not a holy day! [Rising] What hath this day deserved? what hath it done, That it in golden letters should be set Among the high tides in the calendar? Nay, rather turn this day out of the week, This day of shame, oppression, perjury. Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child Pray that their burthens may not fall this day, Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross’d: But on this day let seamen fear no wreck; No bargains break that are not this day made: This day, all things begun come to ill end, Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!”

 

King John: Constance

“Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form; Then, have I reason to be fond of grief? Fare you well: had you such a loss as I, I could give better comfort than you do. I will not keep this form upon my head, When there is such disorder in my wit. O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son! My life, my joy, my food, my all the world! My widow-comfort, and my sorrows’ cure!”

Both of these monologues are beautiful and have so much potential and i am very keen to do them, howveer because of her character – “Arthur’s mother, Constance convinces Philip to be her son’s champion in his quest for the throne. After Arthur is captured, she mourns extravagantly and accuses Philip of having sold her out by arranging a marriage between Louis and Blanche.” http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/kingjohn/characters.html. I feel like her character is to old for my acting age as my acting age is form 14-20 I feel like this would not suit me. I feel like i would be successful at performing one of these monologues but for an audition I don’t think it would be very believe able because of the age difference.

 

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Rehearsal log 25th Feb 2016

Today we went through ‘Love will tear us apart’ dance as the musical theatre students haven’t been thought it properly. It was really good for us to take time to go through it and learn it properly because then we can work on cleaning it and making sure we are all in time. I feel like I picked it up rather quickly as it is quite simplistic but now we just have to make sure we execute it perfectly for it to be effective. We also started to go though the other dance which is when Oberon and Titania have made up and everything is all good again. This dance is quite challenging for me because it is more commercial than I am comfortable with doing because in the past when I have done commercial my knees have dislocated before so I am quite nervous about this. Since my operation I have felt a lot stronger even though I have only been dancing properly for a short period of time.

My goal for this is to overcome my nerves for performing a more commercial piece and hopefully then I won’t be so cautious for the next time I have to do a commercial piece.

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monologue log 24th feb 2016

Yesterday we did a lot of work on voice acting and the effect voice can have in a monologue. There is so much that you can do with the voice to have a specific effect and characterization.

There are many ways you can use you voice and manipulate it to give a different effect. these are a few we came up with.

  • A change of pitch
  • Vocal indentation – to express emotion
  • inflections at the end of your voice up wards and downwards
  • speed
  • accent and dialect
  •  tone
  • open and closed sounds
  • dynamics
  • pauses
  • emphasis

We then did an exercise with different ways to say “How can I help you?”  this was more difficult then I anticipated, because there are so may ways of saying it but using emphasis on each of the five words really makes you think about how you speak and how it could be portrayed and taken by other people. For example “HOW can I help you?” this could be taken as a sincerer question because you really want to know what the other person needs you do to to be able to help them. On the other hand if you put the emphasis on the I, then it could be “how can I help you?” that could be taken as how to you expect me to help you?

We then did a monologue from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard it was very interesting to see peoples different portrayals but the one that stood out for me the most was Jack’s interpratation but on the line “Think in your head, now, think of you most… private… secret… intimate…. thing you have ever done”, it was very soft and gentle which I found very refreshing and it was quite a contrast to the of the sinister actor Jack was portraying.

 

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Work progress, 23rd of Feb, 2016

Yesterday was the first day back after half term and I feel the like day overall went really well, however there were some aspects that could have been avoided. For example very few of us had taken time to learn the lyrics properly for ‘Step on’ by the happy Mondays. I was included in the group for not knowing lyrics because I wasn’t confident on them and kept stumbling on my lyrics and the timing. I could have avoided this by learning them over half term on the days that I wasn’t working or in rehearsal for my other show. However I feel like the slow motion fight scene for step on with myself Scott and Harry is coming along rather well. The only issue with it is that I end up on the wrong side but I don’t think that will confuse the audience to much because I end up on the floor with Harry and Scott beating me up then we end in that freeze to it will be clear to the audience that is was has happened and that’s why I am on the that side of the stage with Oberon’s gang and not Titana’s. The singing over all I don’t think is at the slandered that it needs to be because it is still very weak from everyone and as there are 38 of us in the production there is no excuse for us to be as weak and as quiet as we are and I feel everyone needs to up there game for the show to reach its full potential and as it is in two weeks I hope this happens soon because there is limited time left and I want this show to be as amazing at we want it to be but at the moment I do not think it is there yet.

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