Review of the performance

Well, that’s it, Dramaturgy is now over apart from this blog. The performance has been done, and now all that’s left is to reflect upon it and progress into Theatre Company. So here it is, the review of our performance; outlining the parts that were good, bad, and all the other stuff that goes with a review.

To start with, we’ll look at the technical side. To be completely honest, that could have gone a lot better. The lighting in the studio was on cue and very effective, highlighting the right parts of the performance at the right time and also creating the right atmosphere, as one lecturer described afterwards when giving feedback; he stated that when he came in it seemed like he was entering “an asylum”. This creepiness and sense of unease was sustained throughout the performance in accordance with how we wanted the audience to feel. However, as much as the clinical lighting in the studio worked well, other lighting effects didn’t. To be fair on us though, that was completely out of our control. To put everything straight, we had planned for the lighting outside the auditorium to go out (apart from two standing lamps) just before the performance, followed by a continuation of the blue and green colour scheme with green and blue floor lighting on the stairs leading up to the upstairs corridor. These planned lighting effects didn’t happen due to the fact that security switched the lights off. Unfortunately, because the lights went out, the two performers waiting for that very thing to happen assumed that that was the cue to start, and that meant that the rest of the group was still preparing props upstairs, and that noise carried down to the lower floor while the performance was going on. Thankfully, this did not affect the performance that Braden and Martyn gave, and by the time they were half way through the scene, everyone upstairs had finished their preparations and were ready to carry on. While the problems with the lighting were completely out of our control, the sounds weren’t, and the faults with that were entirely of our own making, as we hadn’t practiced enough with the equipment, and so had no idea of the effect produced by a ukulele and an iPod playing music at the same time. The second mistake with the sound was purely technical in that, for some unknown reason, after pressing ‘play’ on the iPod, there was a gap of a few seconds before the music began to play. The third music cue in the studio went well, and contributed effectively to the scene. To solve the technical problems, we just have to practice with the equipment, and make sure that all the security staff are completely cognisant of our plans.

Another aspect of our performance that could have been improved was the scene on the stairs; as it was, we had no idea of the sheer number of people that were going to turn up to watch our performance. Regrettably, because we hadn’t planned for that amount of audience, some of the audience who were situated at the back of the crowd couldn’t see what was happening on the stairs. Although in that way we could have improved the scene by planning better, those that did see the scene said that the way we had staged it was very effective.

Overall, the promenade style of performance was well received, and was seen to suit the piece well. Our style of acting was; “spot on”, we didn’t “overact or underact” but performed the roles well. The choice for splitting the Doctors’ role into two parts was enjoyed, as the text lent itself to be split in such a way.

In terms of expanding it, we’ve had several ideas, and not just for expanding it, but for improving it as well. One of which was the furthering of the fairground theme, with more, as I’ve called them, ‘grotesques’. This would not only create more roles for the women in our piece (one of the contributing reasons that we chose the scenes we did for this performance) but would also give more chance for experimentation within the piece itself.

We might even decide to create our own ending…

All in all, our version of Woyzeck was enjoyed by everyone that watched it, with great anticipation for what we’re going to produce for our performance at the end of the Theatre Company module which leaves me with just one last comment to make.

Well done everyone, and I can’t wait to get started on the expanded version!

Signing off for now,

Sally.

Posted in Content, Form, Home, Lighting, Sound, The Performance, Woyzeck Reviews | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Review of the performance

  1. Well, now. I don’t quite know what I can add here, but let’s see…

    I think promenade is definitely worth pursuing. However, that said I think it would mean a hell of a lot of work and some serious editing of the play in order to make it work with the cast we have. Probably even a recasting in fact, so that everyone played every part at some point. I don’t know. Worth some thought anyway.

    If we could perform at the Lincoln Castle that would be great. Really great. The people there may give us all sorts of access. I think a castle, as a military setting would be good for an evening performance. Nice and creepy. *shudders*

    I think our performance ‘on the night’ was the best we’d ever done it. I really do. Of course, there’s still plenty of scope for improvement – and we will improve! I’m looking forward to the next stage of this adventure and all the headaches it will be bound to bring. But then I like solving problems!

    Well done boys and girls!

  2. Profile photo of Aaron Brown Aaron Brown says:

    I felt that the performance despite it’s hiccups went really well, although I doubt that I have ever been so mystified as to if we have already began as of yet :)

    Aaron

  3. Oooo a performance at Lincoln Castle sounds VERY tempting it would certainly make for a slightly creepier than usual atmostphere. Something we could seriously cosider. The Cathedral is another good place to stage the play as there are lots of spaces available but I don’t know whether it could become complicated in terms of getting the powers that be to allow us to use it but worth looking into.

    There is a lot for us to discuss as a group and I really can’t wait to see what we come up with!

  4. I agree with Amie, I think to continue with promenade would be a good idea. It raised problems, yes, but overall, I believe it worked quite effectively. It went hand in hand with the disorientation of everything going on around Woyzecks character.

    I like Marks idea of continuing performance in the lift as well as the stairs, this would add another dimension to what we are/were trying to achieve.

    To create it as a site specific piece would also be a good challenge, thanks for the suggestion James. This may be something we could talk about in Theatre Company.

    As an overall performance I believe it worked really well. Yes, there were tech problems, maybe this should have been discussed more prior to performance, but it shall be well thought out for theatre company and if we do decide to continue promenade then a deeper look into how to light other areas and for sound to be played elsewhere would be another item we would have to discuss.

    Kirsty

  5. Profile photo of James Hallam James Hallam says:

    Hi Guys. Just thought I’d let you know that I really enjoyed your performance and cannot wait to see the rest.

    One complaint though. The scene on the stairs was really difficult to see as I was still around the corner. Although I could hear you all very well (Well done) It would have been nice to see the action too.

    Would you consider performing it outside? Keeping the promenade idea but maybe performing it up at the Cathedral or maybe in the castle at the top of the hill. Food for thought.

    Again, really enjoyed it and keep up the good work.

    James

  6. Profile photo of Amie Connor Amie Connor says:

    The music in the first scene shouldnt have been played at the same time as the Yukele. That defeated the whole object of having Jimmy play. The 1st piece of music should have been played as a sort of pre-set. The intention was to introduce the performance with that piece of music, Braden and Martyn in place ready to start, while the final few members of audience were getting into place. The music fades, everyone is ready…and that was the que to start. Rather than the security related problems. Something we can just work on for theatre company though.
    In reference to Rachel’s comment. I think we should persue the promenade. There were some issues, but nothing we havent now trialed and tested. The use promenade was a real challenge. However, it was really well received by the audience. Its an interesting approach to a performance and draws the audiences attention making them feel a part of the action. I think if we combine promenade with some fixed spaces, we can get the right balance.
    Overall, this has been a really enjoyable process. I haven’t felt half as stressed out as I usually do in assessment week. I think the blog is a great way of allowing us to document our work and keep on top of the development of our performance. I have had much more enthusiam for contributing to the blog than I would an essay.
    Everyone did a fantastic job!! TEAM WORK!! =) Lets rock theatre company!!

  7. Well said Sally and Braden!! An enjoyable performance all round apart security messing up the lights so might have wage war on them!!
    As far as extending the Fairground theme for the Theatre Company performance it is something that I really want to use for a few reasons other than it looks good. The first is because of the link with the carnival aspect where normal everyday laws are temporarily suspended and the poor are able to ridicule and degrade those in authority for a limited time. This could work nicely in Woyzeck given that Woyzeck represents the oppressed and for a brief moment it could give him almost an upper hand over his superiors. Secondly it really helps to set the scene for the creepiness that occurs throughout the piece.

    I’m not sure that the promenade idea is something that we will use for the final performance since it does seem to create some problems especially where lighting and sound effects are concerned and I’m not entirely talking about security’s obsession with ruining our performances/ rehearsals at every turn but it does seem to present some technical limitations.

    Rachel :-)

  8. Or better still, incorporate the lift area in the performance space so that people can either ascend the stairs or use the lift to see the next part but something also happens in the lift that adds to the experience of the journey the audience are all on.

  9. Profile photo of Braden Guy Braden Guy says:

    A good Review here sally =] I might add one extra thing if I may though.

    After we decided to make this a promenade performance, making the audience follow the actions as we go up the stairs and around into studio two. Something we didn’t consider was disabled access. There was a lift ready available for access but at the same time some of the people that had to use the lift making them miss the action that was going off on the stairs.

    In the future performances, it may be wise to either keep all of the performance on one floor or to make it so that the people that have to use the lift do not miss any of the performance that might be happening on the stairs or any other inaccessible areas.

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