John Misto, playwright of the Shoe-Horn Sonata has clearly brought forward the women's story to the audience. Shoe-Horn is a very powerful Australian play that seeks to commemorate the endurance and heroic struggle of women interned in Japanese POW camps during World War II. Misto achieves this through a combination of dramatic techniques, themes, characterisation and settings making the past vivid and understandable. The characters presented in the Shoe-Horn Sonata are fictional, but the events are based on true stories/re-collections from living World War II veterans. Bridie and Sheila are the two main characters, accompanied by an unseen character and his voice, Rick the interviewer. The attention of the audience is entirely focused on the characters of Bridie and Sheila, as they recollect past stories and events. Misto uses a minimalist set, which affords great flexibility while insuring that audience attention remains focused on his central characters. Misto only employs two sets, a motel room and an interview studio. Scene changes are few and the ease of production allows for an intimate-theatrical atmosphere to be created where the audience is physically close to the actresses on stage. The use of large screens for t
he projection of various historical images throughout the play adds an extra dimension that permits a small theatrical space to achieve a vivid integration of the past into the present. The dramatic feature of social realism brings the hardship and difficulties directly to the audience. At the start, the Shoe-Horn meant family love to Bridie. Misto uses various symbols in the play, which represent different ideas. The audience can see and hear images and noise, as they try to imagine what it would have been like. The song suggests the isolation that each character is experiencing at that moment. The use of the theme power and control highlights some of the hurdles the women had to overcome. Another theme used by Misto is power and control....
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