Another disadvantage would be that the actors would only be able to enter from the left and right hand sides of the stage. There are, however some advantages of a proscenium stage such as, the actors not having to turn their backs on the audience this would contrast to the event of blocking in the round. Another advantage of this type of stage, is that the set can easily be changed which, contrasts to an in the round stage, where the characters would have to change the set during the production.
In the concluding scene of ‘Blood Brothers’, I am going to have stage props such as a podium and a few chairs facing it, I have chosen to do this because the stage directions state ‘we see Edward, standing behind a table, on a platform. ‘ The fact that Edward is raised, gives the impression that he has more status in society and is more important than the others who will be positioned on the stage. The podium will be lowered from the roof of the stage, allowing it to be easily removed from the set.
Two other councillors will accompany Edward, however they will not be on any kind of raised platform, as this will still allow Edward to look superior. When Edward has been shot I will remove the podium and chairs. Instantly after Mickey is ‘blown away’ he will fall next to Edward, this will depict they now both have the same status in society: neither is better that the other, death really is ‘the leveller’.
Minor stage props will be brought on stage by the actors and actresses; however the characters will not stop or pause during the process of this, all props shall be brought on stage during the enactment to keep flow of the play by casually and simply moving around them. The simplicity of the scenery and props will be capitalised on, in a way that it will serve to emphasise the quality of the acting, as there will be nothing ‘fancy’ to distract the audiences’ attention. The audience will be entirely focused on the central issue of the relationship of the two brothers and the tragic irony of their contrasting lives.
There is the additional ‘dramatic irony’ that only the audience knows the full story. (The main characters die not knowing that story. I will also use stage props so it is not hard to distinguish where the characters are. For example, in the final scene, Edward is delivering a speech at work the props shall be set up to look like his place of work. At the beginning of the final scene, I will use normal lighting as Edward is delivering his speech. At this time, Mickey bursts in unsteadily and is unsure of himself; in the process of this the lights will be dimmed.
This is to create a form of tension in the audience; I have also chosen this because I want to create an effect, which will encourage the audience to focus on the two main characters, Mickey and Edward. At this point Mickey shouts aggressively, ‘just get out of here, mister, now! ‘(Directed, at a councillor) which shows the seriousness of the situation. The remaining councillors hurry off stage from all exits, to create havoc and panic, to contrast with the coming silence. The lights are now turned off completely. Two white spotlights will then appear, one over Mickey and the other over Edward.
When the guns are fired and both fall to the ground the lights will fade from a white glow to a blood red to emphasise their death. At this point Linda and Miss Johnstone huddle around the ‘Blood Brothers’, mourning. The characters all freeze as a soft glow of light falls over the narrator, which captures the audiences’ attention. The narrator slowly walks around the edge of the stage inspecting the freeze frame whilst reading, ‘ and do we blame suspicion… ‘ In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Britain was experiencing an economic decline and hardship, which mainly affected working class people.
The main reasons for this were: the government’s reaction to the coal miners’ demands, (they tried to turn the nation against the miners by imposing the ‘three day week’). Power cuts resulted from a lack of coal to fuel power stations and this lack of electricity caused ‘a domino effect’ in industry. Many other workers were on short time or laid off. The price of oil worldwide was raised which affected the price of all commodities, making life difficult for people not able to earn much money. At the same time, more working people – especially adults, such as Willy Russell benefited from the extension of educational opportunities.
Having learned to think, they found they had plenty to think about in Britain. During the 1970’s, many of them formed strong political views, often very sympathetic to workers. There are many organisations such as the ‘Socialist Workers Party’, which were popular amongst many young people. The mass recession of the 70’s caused many problems regarding social class. Most people of working class were forced to have their houses repossessed due to the three-day week regulation. At the time of the recession, people rebelled against most of the government’s decisions.
A clear example of this would be they way people portrayed their views via fashion. The working class people had a propensity to dress as ‘punks’ they dressed like this as a way of expressing their opinions and anger. In the enactment, Russell successfully portrays this via the character Miss Johnstone. She is from a working class background and struggles economically during this era. Her son Mickey is also at a disadvantage because of this. His endures a poor education and is suspended from school due to behavioural problems.
Mickey was unaffected by this because he assumed he was not going to get a job if he continued learning, due to the circumstances. He was later imprisoned, and became economically depressed. The Lyons, depicted in the play, are a very prosperous family and live a contented life during the ‘three day week’. Mr Lyons has a well-paid job, which enables the family to weather the economic crisis. Their son Edward is highly educated which provided him with the opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps. In comparison the two families lead very contrasting lives, which clearly depicts the economic circumstances in the mass recession.