My Journey

From mind to paper and back again.

chapter 6 activities

on January 11, 2010

6.1 & 6.2

Andrew is centre stage facing the audience. The set is that of a living room, AMY is sat in an armchair and has been watching him pace the carpet. He is holding a mobile phone to his ear with tears running down his cheeks.

ANDREW: Okay. (sniff) Bye

He ends the call on the phone and sits on the arm of a chair next to his girlfriend AMY. She reaches up and wipes a tear from his face with a questioning look in her eyes, he shakes his head and lifts one of his knees off the floor, perching his foot at the edge of the arm of the chair he leans forwards and rests his head on his knee. AMY strokes his hair gently. Pause.

ANDREW starts to text on phone after a sigh. AMY cranes over his knee to see who he is texting, ANDREW moves phone out of her sight and continues.

AMY: I wish you’d tell me what’s wrong, it’s doin me ‘ed in not knowing what I can do to meck it better.

ANDREW: You can’t

AMY: I can’t what?

ANDREW Meck it better.

Andrew stands up and walks to stand behind the chair. He twirls a piece of AMY’s hair between his finger and thumb and then heaves a sigh. AMY looks up and he shakes his head again.

ANDREW: (softly) I wish it would all go away.

Andrew heaves his phone across the stage against a wall and walks out to exit SL.

 

 

 

Take a small section (no more than two scenes) from your TMA1 and adapt it for the stage. You were shown the correct layout for a stage script in Chapter 4. Use the script layout in Figure 1 on p.44, and follow the guidance in ‘Stage scripts – some tips’ on p.45. Use the set description written for Activity 6.4 if you wish.

One of the decisions you would have to make is whether to divide the action up into marked scenes, as with Our Country’s Good, or use implicit divisions, as with The Homecoming. Always go over your scripts making sure that you have imagined a visual narrative, but also check that your stage directions and dialogue are not overwritten. There are many more decisions you may have encountered, including those about how realistic you want the action to be, and whether you want a non-naturalistic style of performance with characters talking directly to the audience. These important decisions about style have implications for all aspects of your storytelling.

CAST LIST

DEATH: Upper class, English accent. The female personification of Death

JOHN: Working class accent, DEATH’S assistant, teenager.

MÉRIPAN: DEATH’S phoenix and means of transportation

CHILD: Dead on the battlefield

MAN: Dead on the battlefield

MEN AND CHILDREN: Play out the scene on the battlefield.

SCENE ONE: DEATH’S OFFICE. NIGHT TIME

DEATH’S office, large wooden desk fills the centre of the room, DEATH and JOHN are sat at the desk working in some large leather bound ledgers. JOHN is watching while she explained how to work the ledger.

DEATH: We’re going to be busy tomorrow; there is a war about to break out in Africa.

JOHN: There’s always a war in Africa; at least, that’s what the papers say Miss.

DEATH: (nods) There always has been and always will be a war somewhere in the world Boy. Our job is to pick up the pieces afterwards.

SCENE TWO: AFRICAN DESERT. MORNING.

The floor of the desert is strewn with dead bodies and sand. The souls are all waiting to move on. DEATH and JOHN have just dismounted from MÉRIPAN who is stood in the middle of the action. No one looks at the strange bird on the battlefield and the action continues around him, DEATH and JOHN regardless. Gun shots rage and JOHN is constantly ducking down to dodge them.

DEATH: You can’t be hurt Boy, stand up straight. (JOHN straightens back up and surveys the scene).

JOHN: We’ll never get through all of these Miss. There’s loads of ‘em. (DEATH nods) Why don’t they see us?

DEATH: Would you believe you’d just seen a phoenix land in the middle of this desert carrying two people?

JOHN: No Miss.

DEATH takes ledger out of cloak and begins checking off names as she touches the mirror to the souls waiting to pass through. JOHN wanders aimlessly in the other direction. His list in hand and starts to mark the names off as the smoke touches the mirror. Both work in silence. JOHN marks off twelve names and then stops suddenly as if someone has knocked him.

JOHN: I can’t. (DEATH stops and looks up from the opposite side of the stage).

DEATH: You have to take the soul Boy, you have no choice. Besides, you don’t take the life; you help the soul move on.

JOHN: But it’s not fair! (pause, gunshots are still being fired in the background. Quieter now.) He’s just a kid, it’s not fair.

DEATH: (sigh) Fair isn’t an option. There are no options; just what comes next. (DEATH bends and continues working).

JOHN: (demanding) And what’s that? What comes next?

DEATH: Only the souls that have passed through the mirror know that.

DEATH takes the child’s soul and continues back across the set at speed. JOHN slumps down onto the floor looking at the ledger in his hands, the mirror on his knees. The ledger is also projected onto a screen on the back wall of the set with red lines passing through the names quickly as DEATH continues.

JOHN stands up and looks for DEATH, still working on the other side of the set as bullets pass through her or around her. JOHN picks up the ledger and mirror and walks to a man lay on the floor.

MAN: (Blood oozing from his side). Are you?

JOHN: (nods) Yes

MAN: What happens next? Where do I go?

JOHN: Only you know that. I just help you get there.

Word Count: 574

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