GCSE English Literature
Twentieth Century Play
By Willy Russell
This piece of coursework will be submitted for Literature only and must meet the following criteria to ensure a good grade:
Discuss character and action.
Discuss dramatic devices and stagecraft.
Discuss the writer’s use of language.
Refer to the social, cultural and historical context on the play.
Consider the writer’s intended effect on the audience.
Choose a key scene in Blood Brothers, by Willy Russell. Imagine you are a director and write about how you would present the scene on stage. Think about:
how you intend your audience to react
Begin by giving a brief background to the play, such as when it was written and when and where it is set. Mention Russell‘s intentions to discuss class divisions through his language, imagery and music. Refer to the context of the play and that it was written as a comment on the Recession and an outcry against Thatcherism. Mention that, traditionally, comedies do not end in death but Russell successfully blends both comedy and tragedy.
Outline the scene you have chosen and give a brief description of the characters involved. Say which themes are considered in the scene. Outline some of the staging techniques you will use.
2. Main Essay
Work through your chosen scene, discussing the techniques you will use to convey character, mood, themes, etc. and commenting on how you wish your audience to react.
Remember to consider:
what Russell intended to achieve through writing the play
mood of character and atmosphere of scene
foreshadowing (hints that there will be a tragedy)
theme of class
use of violence
dancing to represent hope
relationships between characters
comedy and tragedy
audience reaction now and at the time the play is set
lighting (spotlights, fade in/ out, colours, shadows, full)
music and sound effects
entrances and exits
delivery of speeches
NB. these lists are not exhaustive!
This should sum up what you have said in the essay and ensure that you have answered the question fully. No new material should be introduced in the conclusion.
When you have drafted the essay read it and ensure that you have met all of the assessment criteria.
General points to remember:
Try to widen your vocabulary by using a thesaurus.
Write in Standard English and check punctuation carefully.
Avoid telling the story of the play - each point should be relevant to the question.
Do not be satisfied with your first draft - redrafting is a valuable skill to learn.
This work unit by Raymond Teasdale was found free at www.englishresources.co.uk
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