The Shoe Horn Sonata-
The Shoe Horn Sonata provides an insight into the lives of two women who were made prisoners of war by the Japanese and explores the little known and horrific conditions and events the women endured. With the use of distinctively visual techniques, John Misto brings Bridie and Sheila’s experience vividly to life. Through the use of projected images, sound, music and symbolism; the horrors of war, survival and resilience are portrayed throughout the drama.
Misto uses an array of projected images on stage to illustrate the horrors of war to the audience. The photographs projected behind the women, as they retell their struggles, supports their stories by transporting them and the audience back into the past and providing additional information on the horrific events and the damage the events had on each woman. The physical and mental harm endured by the Japanese captives are exemplified by images of emaciated women. These images bring Bridie and Sheila’s memories to life for the audience and puts emphasis on how horrid and disgusting prison life was for the captives. The contrast and juxtaposition of photographs between army nurses boarding ships, with happy and excited expressions on their faces, together with the dialogue, “it was hard to believe we were on the brink of war”, displayed that the nurses were comfortable in their environment. These Images and dialogue contrast further photographs of burning ships with clouds of smoke filling the sky, highlighting how quickly the situation and environment changed for the women and the fiery destruction left behind. An image of a Japanese soldier’s face is displayed to the audience, portraying a warrior, instilling fear into the audience and illustrating the fierceness and terrifying nature of the Japanese soldiers. The photograph is enhanced with the dialogue “The Japs’d come around and beat us for the fun of it. ‘Useless Mouths’ they used to call us”, this adds to the audiences feelings...
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