- How effective was the ending of your piece based on your chosen story? In your discussion you should refer to:
- the construction and performance of the end of your piece
- the effective choices made
- ways in which the ending could have been developed to be more effective in bringing your story to a close.
(150 – 250 WORDS)
The ending of our piece, in my opinion, was the weakest part of our performance. I feel like it wasn’t particularly well structured, and I’m not even sure what the purpose was. Why did we use the screens for the gruffalo? Simply for efficiency? The ending should bring closure to the piece and tie up any loose ends. The final gruffalo scene should be the climax of the piece, but it wasn’t. I think one of the decisions that influenced that was repeating the previous lines: “He’s got knobbly knees, turned out toes.. a poisonous wart at the end of his nose.” The mouse sounded scared, and used gestures and movement (hand wringing, stumbling, stuttering, tone) to increase the tension in the scene. However, the tension fizzled away when the actual gruffalo spoke. We could improve this by working more on the characterisation of the gruffalo (voice, movement, appearance) as ONE character, rather than working on the individual characters. I do like, however, the very last scene where the mouse is center stage and says “Why, silly me. Turns out, there really is such a thing as a gruffalo.” because many times the mouse says a similar line. We changed the sentence a little, but the repetition at the end reinforces one of our main ideas about believing and faith. She is also alone for the first time, although throughout the whole piece, she is never alone.
- What potential was there for the use of props and set elements (screens, blocks, etc.) in your storytelling performance? In your discussion you should refer to:
- why you chose to use the props and set elements that you did
- how props were used in the performance and their effectiveness
- how set elements were used in the performance and their effectiveness
- you should refer to specific examples and can include sketches and/or photographs if you wish
(150 – 250 WORDS)
The main set element we used were the screens. We came up with the idea on the very first lesson, and we all loved it immediately. We hadn’t used them before, and it seemed like they
could add a lot to our piece. The image on the right shows how we used them in relation to the lighting. Screens were a big part of our set – helping us with the atmosphere (cramped, small area of the woods), the making of the gruffalo (shadows), and the efficiency (keeping everybody on stage at all times). Additionally, they allowed us to play with lighting and shadows, to help with atmosphere and mood. It was hard, however, to make sure the shadows looked good. When behind the screen, it’s very difficult to see what shape you’re making, so the gruffalo especially took a lot of work. However, the screens brought a different side to our performance, and I think the extra work really paid off. The other element we used was a stick, primarily for efficiency. In the image below, the stick was used to transition from this scene to the next and to provide some atmosphere – the claustrophobic feel of the woods. All the other props were for characters and to help with the development of that.
- In your piece based on a children’s story, how did you pace the action to make it effective? In your discussion you should refer to:
- examples of scenes where the pace was particularly effective
- how you varied the pace of the performance for a specific effect
- where pace might have been used more effectively to enhance your performance
(150 – 250 WORDS)
Pace was something that we had a lot of trouble with. Most of our scenes were too slow, and not energetic enough. However, there were a couple scenes where our pace was used effectively. For example, the snake scene shown to the right. In this, we used music to play with the pace. In one part, the snake is dancing quickly, with energetic mexican music playing. And then, the music suddenly stops and the snake freezes. The pace goes from fast to slow instantly, and it’s really interesting. Afterwards, the mouse is walking across the stage while the snake is stalking her. This scene is quite slow and tense and the music matches that (pink panther). We could have improved on the first scene, which was a little slow. In order to start off well and get the kids engaged, we needed to have fast pace and energy, which we were lacking. Nevertheless, the final gruffalo scene is probably where we could have improved the most. It had quite a constant pace; and we could have done something more interesting like switching between fast, high energy, and slow motion, more tense.