The Last Woman to Hang

Topics: Blocking, Stage, Sophie Ellis-Bextor Pages: 8 (3348 words) Published: September 18, 2012
Paper 1 drama
Exploration Ruth Ellis
The last woman to hang

Task 1-The response phase (A01)

An off text improvisation in response to a photograph of Ruth Ellis and David Blakely On our first lesson of unit 1 we used a picture of a man and a woman as our stimulus. They were both close together but did not look happy, they looked false. we sat down in groups and talked about the picture and said what came to our heads about it;- - false smiles,

- fake happiness,
- celebrity couple,
- glamorous,
- at a party,
- James Bond and Marylyn Monroe look a likes,
We then made up an off text improvisation performance using our stimulus, my groups storyline was where a famous lady got to a party in a limo and was given some Champagne as she got out of the limo and a paparartsie thought that the man holding the Champagne was the ladies date. The paparartsie took photos and wouldn’t leave the woman go inside but eventually she pushed through and left in her limo, meanwhile one of the paparartsie took a glass of Champaign and ran of. I think that the people that where in my group were given roles that they were good at portraying and it was easy for them to act as their specific character and were able to use a variety of facial expressions without making it look unprofessional.

My group used crosscutting, split-scene, upstage, downstage, off the stage, in front of the stage and we used mime, this was used when the other scene were not talking. I thought my groups storyline was quite good but I think we needed to add more techniques into the performance such as still images, freeze frames, narration and thought tracking I also think that more time was needed practicing and not planning.

We ran a hot seating session for Ruth Ellis
In the second lesson we had a hot seating session where I was playing the role of Ruth Ellis at a doctors meeting. The question the doctors was asked was “do you think Ruth Ellis should be prescribed with anti-depressants?” I was asked different questions to find out about my interpretation of the information my teacher gave me, I told my classmates playing the roles of ‘doctors’ that - Ruth had a rough and unhappy upbringing and how having two children by different men at a young age didn’t help her mentally. - David was a bit wild and liked to drink quite a lot which led to arguments and for Ruth to loose her temper. - she loved her children but never really got to see them as she was mainly working in the club or as a hostess. - she was apparently controlling and had a lot of black outs when she got drunk or was using drugs with David. -she was in love with David but he had a fiancée and she was still married to George but was also dating an older man at the same time.

To portray Ruth Ellis as best as I could in this exercise I used different facial expressions, I tried to show specific emotions such as scared, sad, embarrassed and I tried to look a bit mentally ill by my body language by sitting hunch back on my chair and holding on to the ends of my jacket tightly fidgeting as if I had a slight case of turrets or a twitch, I made sure that the tone of my voice change when specific question were asked. If the group of acting doctors asked about my violence or drugs and drink abuse my voice would get stronger and more aggressive towards the doctors I would also scrunch up my face and look like a toddler having a tantrum and move my feet around a lot. I decided to do this all because I wanted to create a tense environment and for the doctors to question my state of mind, I wanted them all to think I really needed anti-depressants to give Ruth the chance to be able to say she was mentally ill, and couldn’t control her emotions and actions.

We constructed the scene where Ruth shoots David using still image

We performed the scene where Ruth shoots David and at the end of the performance of the build up to the shooting of David Blakely we had still images . We worked...
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