This session focused on again looking at Restoration Comedy where like last week, the aim was to direct our partners in a monologue from a restoration play. Last week, we looked at Lady Wishfort’s monologue from ‘The Way of The World’. The aim this week was to look at a larger section of the play and take one of the speeches from the character Witwoud.
The section we were given starts off with Fainall and Mirabell talking negatively about Witoud before his entrance shortly after. Last week, we talked about the character’s names and how they would represent their character’s personalities, for example, Witwoud would be a fop and this is shown in this section. He is talked about being “bashfullness and obstinacy” (shy and stubborn) while “his memory fails him”, stealing ideas and taking them for his own. He is a vain characters, shown straight from his entrance when he enters with drama, asking for pity and expecting them to ask him what the matter was.
Before reading this, Lynn reminded us of something very important when portraying Restoration characters, just because they are over the top, they still need to be portrayed with truth.
In the last session, each girl was paired up with a boy to direct their Lady Wishfort monologue, this time the girls had a chance to direct. Myself and Beth were paired with James and this then gave me a chance to talk with Beth about our different ideas and how we could interpret them. We worked well to allow James to read it through, with both of us giving feedback on how he can improve, we found that our ideas were similar as we wanted Witwoud to be comedic and not realise what he has said until after he has said something. One example of this was him asking Fainall how his lady was, even though he was in love with someone else. James was able to use his voice well when performing to joke around and go slightly over the top. However, I felt that he still could have gone further with his movements because Restoration Comedies are over the top and comedic. This is something I wish I would have said before, now I have learned that if I feel there is anything, no matter how small, I just need to say it to get the best out of the actor.
When it comes to directing, I will not take up the chance to direct anything unless I am asked to. However, I enjoyed directing James in this scene even if it was only a small section, I was able to interpret my ideas with Beth and James could also give some ideas to ensure the performance was at a high standard.