Unit 12 Reflective Journal TASK 3A: Monday 27th March (Research, Draft Structure of Show and First Cutting of Saint Joan Monologue)

Following the discussion from our Wednesday session with Lynn, she then, with our interpretations and ideas, she then spent the weekend getting a structure together based off our idea of a cabaret club. Therefore, the purpose of today was to find out the structure that Lynn has put together so far and to continue research in relation to the ideas that have already been put together. For the first ideas, it is important to recognise that these are not the final ideas and can still be changed. The other thing to recognise is that not all of the pieces may not fit into the show, if this happens for my ideas then it is something I will need to accept and wouldn’t have been put in because it either doesn’t fit into our chosen structure, or the performance overall will be too long.

In the morning before we found this out, I went further into research about the ‘Seven Deadly Sins and Virtues’ idea, which we have been basing our ideas off since the presentations. If I am going to be playing a character which represents either the sins, (envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath) or virtues, then I will want to play those characters truthfully. During this morning session, I was able to find a list of the sins and a definition of all of them, however, this was very brief and although I was able to write notes down of what I researched, I want to expand this further once I have more time to do so. I have written on my action plan for this week that I will aim to do this by Wednesday, which will be a realistic target and gather a wider range of sources. I was able to learn from this research that gluttony feeds into greed in the manner that gluttony is a greed for food and drink, it is different however, in the manner that greed is more a desire for possessions and riches, rather than food.

Session with Structure Idea

In a session with the whole year group, Lynn sat us down and told us her first thoughts to the structure of the show. This is not finished, nor is everything currently written finalised, however, the aim of this was for us to know the pieces that we will be performing so we can begin researching and reading through sections. I have discovered that I will be playing Robbie in a section of Shopping and F***ing, by Mark Ravenhill, with Sian playing Lulu in the scene. It was mentioned straight away that Robbie will be changed into a girl, while some changes will be made in the script with language to fit this gender change, we also decided that one of the words would be too inappropriate for audiences. My other section is an individual piece, which is a Saint Joan monologue, from the play Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw. Although I have heard of George Bernard Shaw, as we learned about him in a session with Erica in the autumn term, I have not heard of Saint Joan. The third piece is a group song at the end, using Emma’s song ‘Facade’, this is something that I am happy about as I mentioned previously that I would like to be involved in some singing, as it is something I have been able to really develop through experience over my two years at Conservatoire EAST. I have written down briefly Lynn’s current ideas:




Looking at the show, it is clear that there are opportunities for everyone to perform a piece at least twice which is set to their pathway, with two of mine being acting, the other singing, this means that there is also a variety. However, one of the struggles that was mentioned was trying to balance out Saints with Sinners, as there were more sinner ideas presented. Therefore, some of the pieces are ones which have been added in late and not presented, this is particular with my Saint Joan monologue. While this character is a saint, Robbie is a sinner, selling drugs at a nightclub, this will be exciting for me as I can really portray the difference in character between the Saint and Sinner.

Myself and Sian were able to get copies of the section that we will be performing:





We decided that as we still had time, we would have a read through of the section, one thing that we agreed on was definitely the change in language as Sian did not feel comfortable with it. For me, I was easily able to tell what was happening at the scene, with Robbie telling Lulu had he has been giving away ecstasy pills, but not getting the money for it. Now that I have been able to read through this with Sian, I will now try to find a copy of the play to get a greater idea of Robbie, his relations with Lulu as well as any other characters, along with events leading up this scene and the consequences.

Finally, I gained a copy of the Saint Joan monologue, which I was able to find online, I discovered through the source that this monologue takes place at the end of the play, with Saint Joan losing her temper and getting angry at her treatment, here is the monologue:

JOAN: (rising in consternation and terrible anger) Perpetual imprisonment! Am I not then to be set free? Give me that writing. (She rushes to the table; snatches up the paper; and tears it into fragments) Light your fire:do you think I dread it as much as the life of a rat in a hole? My voices were right. Yes:they told me you were fools (the word gives great offence), and that I was not to listen to your fine words nor trust your charity. You promised me my life; but you lied (indignant exclamations). You think that life is nothing but not being stone dead. It is not the bread and water I fear: I can live on bread:when have I asked for more? It is no hardship to drink water if the water be clean. Bread has no sorrow for me, and water no affliction. But to shut me from the light of the sky and the sight of the fields and flowers; to chain my feet so that I can never again ride with the soldiers nor climb the hills; to make me breathe foul damp darkness and keep from me everything that brings me back to the love of god when your wickedness and foolishness tempt me to hate Him:all this is worse than the furnace in the bible that was heated seven times. I could do without my warhorse; I could drag about in a skirt; I could let the banners and the trumpets and the knights and soldiers pass me and leave me behind as they leave the other women, if only I could still hear the wind in the trees, the larks in the sunshine, the young lambs crying through the healthy frost, and the blessed church bells that send my angel voices floating to me on the wind. But without these things I cannot live; and by your wanting to take them away from me, or from any human creature, I know that your counsel is of the devil, and that mine is of God. His ways are not your ways. He wills that I go through the fire to His bosom; for I am His child, and you are not fit that I should live among you. That is my last word to you.

http://www.actorama.com/ms/1087/George-Bernard-Shaw/Joan’s-Monologue-(Saint-Joan)

I had a look through the monologue and it was suggested to me that I try to cut this monologue down, as it is currently too long and not all of it will be relevant. After reading the monologue, I decided to try to cut some of it down, something I struggled with as I thought that in relation to the theme of Saints and Sinners, was relevant to the performance. Although I did not have too much time over this, I attempted to cut it down, here is my first cut:

JOAN: Perpetual imprisonment! Am I not then to be set free? Give me that writing. Light your fire:do you think I dread it as much as the life of a rat in a hole? My voices were right. Yes:they told me you were fools , and that I was not to listen to your fine words nor trust your charity. You promised me my life; but you lied. You think that life is nothing but not being stone dead. It is not the bread and water I fear: I can live on bread:when have I asked for more? It is no hardship to drink water if the water be clean. Bread has no sorrow for me, and water no affliction. But to shut me from the light of the sky and the sight of the fields and flowers; to chain my feet so that I can never again ride with the soldiers nor climb the hills; to make me breathe foul damp darkness and keep from me everything that brings me back to the love of god when your wickedness and foolishness tempt me to hate him:all this is worse than the furnace in the bible that was heated seven times. I know that your counsel is of the devil, and that mine is of God. His ways are not your ways. He wills that I go through the fire to His bosom; for I am His child, and you are not fit that I should live among you. That is my last word to you.

In this particular cut, I got rid of “I could do without my warhorse; I could drag about in a skirt; I could let the banners and the trumpets and the knights and soldiers pass me and leave me behind as they leave the other women, if only I could still hear the wind in the trees, the larks in the sunshine, the young lambs crying through the healthy frost, and the blessed church bells that send my angel voices floating to me on the wind. But without these things I cannot live; and by your wanting to take them away from me, or from any human creature,” . Unlike other parts which talk about the relations with God and how she was betrayed and imprisonment, which is happening to the saint. However, when I have more time, I will try to cut more of it and once I have read the monologue, there may be aspects which I choose to put back in the monologue.

In conclusion, I am glad that I now know the pieces I will be taking part in, I can now get a greater understanding of the two acting pieces through research. I will communicate with Sian about when we can continue to rehearse or make deadlines. The full structure will be announced on Wednesday, I must be wary not to do too much between now and Wednesday as some aspects may change.

 

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