‘No Idea’ is an American poem written in 2007 by an anonymous author. It tells of a girl named Roberta and how she has sadly taken her own life. It provides little if any background information of why she has resorted to this extremity. It is only seven lines long and separated into two stanzas and provides and could provide open-ended approach when used as a stimulus for a piece of drama.
The second piece of stimulus ‘Ant’s Speech’ is a monologue take from the play ‘My England’ which was written in 1997. It tells the story of a racial encounter between two different cultured children which leads to a fight. Ant, the white boy comes off worse however appears to be showing off his injuries to his Mum and Dad as if they should be proud of him but they both seem displeased with his antics for two different reasons. We only hear Ant’s side of the story so there is still a considerable amount of information that we don’t know.
My initial thoughts to the first stimulus, ‘No Idea’ were anger at the bullies who forced Roberta to feel like she had to take her own life however a certain degree of anger is shared with Roberta for killing herself as there are many other options she could have considered than such a drastic action. However a portion of sympathy should be shown for death as she must have been being bullied to a high degree to force such regrettable and selfish results. Her family, friend and parents that bear the consequence of Roberta’s decision and will probably feel regret in their selves for not helping or realizing until it’s too late so I also felt a considerable amount of sympathy for them as they will be more than likely take a long time to recover from such an event.
In Ant’s speech I also had strong initial feelings, one of the key ones being embarrassment that I live in a country where things like racial attacks, verbal and physical, are a familiar event. This leads to me feeling anger and shock towards Ant’s parents who have brought him up to believe that being racist is an acceptable means of behavior. I got the impression from reading this monologue that this is more than likely taking place in low class areas where people don’t have a broad spectrum of views and often echo their families beliefs so I feel a certain degree of sadness and also relief that I am more fortunate than Ant and have been brought up in more suitable means.
Ant’s mother when he tells her of what happened does not feel sorry for him when he tells her of how he has just been in a fight neither does she worry about nursing his wounds but surprisingly seems more concerned about his blazer being torn and she tells of how it cost her ‘Thirty quid’ this could be used to back up my previous thought about maybe money being an issue but it also allows me to feel sorry for Ant as his mother shows him no affection, even though the injuries are a result of his inappropriate actions.
‘No Idea’ appears to be a good piece of stimulus to base a piece of drama around. It is a hard hitting piece which could be looked at in great depth from a variety of angles such as the build up to the suicide, the aftermath or maybe even the actual suicide itself. It would be good to perform as a solo actor, as a pair or even a group which offers versatility as well. On the other hand, it is quite open-ended and contain little more than the basic information so for some people it could prove quite a challenging piece to dramatize due to the fact that it may be hard to focus in on certain events contained within the actual poem itself but this may favor some actors. It may also be a difficult piece to use as a piece of drama due to the nature of the poem being about suicide and if someone knows of friends or family or even their selves that have been suicidal it may be an emotional piece to use and may offend a small portion of people.
Ant’s speech again like ‘No Idea’ may be both a good or bad piece of stimulus to base a drama performance on only this time because it contains a lot of information so requires less imagination to fill in the gaps which may favor some peoples style of drama. We also know nothing about Wassim who Ant gets into trouble with other than the fact that he is of Asian origin so people who prefer to make their own ideas by filling in missing information could favor this as that could prove to be a significant part of the final piece.