May 11 2016

Drama In The Making- Working Record

To help me and others with ideas for this drama, as a group we discussed what improvisational techniques we could implement into our drama. Some of the ideas that were brought up were characterisation and symbolic meaning that relates to the stimulus. This helped me stimulate ideas even before the stimulus was presented to me.

The stimulus for this improvised drama was the song ‘7 Years Old’ written by Lukas Graham. Once this stimulus was played out loud, a group activity that I participated in was to pick out a line that stuck out for me. The line in the song that I chose was ‘by eleven smoking herb and drinking burning liquor’. This line presented a very scary and sinister image of a vulnerable 11 year old participating in very disturbing acts for someone his age. Another activity that was used to stimulate ideas for this task was to try and describe the song in one/a few words. The word that came to mind was ‘Tragedy’ as although Lukas gains fame and fortune, in his later years of life he is lonely and isn’t loved any more. Other ideas presented by the group was that Lukas’s poor childhood was due to a lack of a responsible father figure. However when researching information about the song, I learnt that Lukas saw his father as the perfect father a son could have.

When me and group (3 people) assembled, the two ideas that were strongly in our minds was a discussion with Lukas’s mum and dad and the 3 Lukas’s (11, 30 and 60 years old) all encounter each other. As a group we decided to go with the second idea as it presented a stronger meaning of good and evil trying to get their own way. The 30 year old Lukas Graham was presented as stubborn and single-minded (“I only see my goals”), so our group decided to create a character who would reflect this, through the swagger in his walk, cheeky comments and his general rudeness to everyone. The 60 year old Lukas is the complete opposite, as he lived and seen the effect of his poor character to others (“I hope my children visit me once or twice a month”). 60 year old Lukas isn’t loved any more by society and is alone, but he wants to try and change the 11 year old Lukas’s ways so that his might change for the better even if his existence might hang in the balance. So me and my group decided to create the 60 year old Lukas as caring man, through his posture and calm/gentle response to other characters.

The storyline that me and my group created is that the 30 year old Lukas knows that the 60 year old Lukas is trying to intervene and make a better change for their lives. However if the 60 year old succeeds, both the 30 year old and 60 year old Lukas would be wiped out of history. Knowing this the 30 year old Lukas intervenes, and they both meet with the 11 year old Lukas. In the end none of them succeed and Lukas is left confused and hurt. We decided to leave the drama at a cliffhanger so that the audience can make their own judgement for the 11 year old Lukas.

We also employed the use of spilt stage as the 30 year old and 60 year old Lukas come alive into the drama at the two ends of the stage and stay at the end of the stage for the whole performance. Even though the 30 year old Lukas is the bad, negative character, as a group we want to allow some room for the audience to make their opinion about him. The use of split stage is to present the metaphor of the 30 and 60 year old are actually the 11 year old Lukas’s conscience (good and bad) and that the whole scene is being played in his head.

Analysis of Rehearsal Improvisation

Although there was a lot of flashing light and the fact that two futuristic characters are in the drama, the performance style we decided to go for was naturalistic. To make the performance more real, we decided not to use dramatic inventions such as breaking down the 4th wall. We did this so that the audience can relate and believe the performance more easily than if it was non-naturalistic. The message of the drama was to broadcast how past events can positively/negatively effect someone’s life. I think this message was presented successfully in our rehearsal improvisation. However there were two things that our performance lacked: my character (60 year old Lukas) didn’t really reflect the intentions I had for that character. The way I performed this character came out as more as a 16 year old boy than a considerate and caring 60 year old Lukas Graham. My character came out across as arrogant and rude, just like the 30 year old Lukas Graham and this wasn’t my intention. This improvisation has great potential to convey a powerful message about life decisions and its effects to the audience.

Analysis of Lighting Presentation

I didn’t discuss the potential of using trailing spotlights on the 60 and 30 year old Lukas’s to suggest their thinking throughout the performance . I also forgot to discuss how the blue lighting could be used to represent the neutral and confused mentality of the 11 year old Lukas. The use of flashing light when the 11 year old Lukas is roaming from side to side to amplify the stress he is going through and that he can’t make a decision. I also forgot to state the use of a blackout as a transition of scenes when the 30 and 60 year old Lukas’s leave to amplify how lonely the 11 year Lukas feels to the audience.

Analysis of Character Development

I accidentally stereotypically said that all 60 year old’s need walking sticks to walk, which is wrong. I was supposed to say that to actually the way I had to act like more of a 60 year old is the way I respond and interact with the other two characters. I also should have elaborated how putting my character in totally different scene would have allowed me to understand the motive and the morale of the character more, as the more I understood the character I was meant to play, the more I became him. This plus the use of lighting really characterised my character and would make my character believable. Another type of character I took part in but didn’t mention in the presentation was that I only chose one line and said and acted that line in different ways to practise how to play 60 year old Lukas. Because of the character development, the drama now has great potential to develop and create a back story for the 60 year old Lukas as the understanding of the character is now higher.

Analysis of Karver Joseph’s Lighting Presentation

Karver successfully described how the use of each light, the connotations behind the light and how the audience views the light. This is good because he relates the lighting connotations back to his drama and how it helps with the overall intention of the drama. This good description of lighting could also help the other actors in his group understand their role better as the lighting allows them to understand what they are meant to be feeling/showing at the time.

However in the presentation Karver repeats his points in the presentation. Karver also could have presented his ideas better by playing out one or two scenes from his drama and narrating how the lighting shows emotions, motives and feelings. Karver could have also benefited from discussing about more types of lighting e.g. strobe lighting and blackouts.


May 10 2016

Drama in the Making – Presentation II

May 9 2016

Drama in the Making Presentation

Apr 19 2016

Final Performance: Oh! What a Lovely War!

Apr 18 2016

Additional photos


Apr 11 2016

Performance Deferred

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to defer the external performance of your “Oh What a Lovely War!” piece until Tuesday 19th of June (a one week deferral).

You will now be timetabled in lessons as normal tomorrow.

Our apologies for the lateness of this notice.

Mar 21 2016

Drama Coursework 2

The play ‘Oh What A Lovely War’ is a controversial play that unearths the corruption in war leaders, the incompetence of generals and the death of innocent war during the first world war. The play was developed by Joan Littlewood.

One concept that interested me while reading the play was how munitions manufacturers of different countries met together and discussed about ways of making money from the war, even though some of the munitions manufacturers present in the meeting were enemies during the war. The lack of empathy towards the dying soldiers and suffering of civilians really interested me as the munitions manufacturers instead of discussing peace talks, they complained about how the war could end. A British munition manufacturer was present in the meeting and from research I discovered that the British have sold over £5.6bn in sales of arms, fighter jets and other military hardware to Saudi Arabia since David Cameron came to power (May 2010). Also the UK has sold weapons to 24 of the 27 states included on its own list of countries of humanitarian concern. These two facts suggest the past history of the UK selling weapons to enemy countries is still happening in the present.

I quite like the possibilities of idea that can sprout from the stimulus of corruption e.g. a message behind the scene or the effect of corruption.

Improvisation stages

Through the use of a small time period and a given stimulus, we started to improvise small scenes to help our development

Still image- An image of a picture of the army was given to us and in 3 minutes, we had to create a still image based from it. My group devised an image of a general ordering two soldiers, and the soldiers did not seem to like being soldiers. This image could be developed into a scene where the unfortunate reality of being a soldier could be revealed.

We also were read a poem to and then improvised a still image from that as well that had a certain time limit.

Closer to the performance date, me and my group improvised our performance by fastforwarding the scenes and only the narrator spoke. From the criticism, we learnt that the poor character needs to be developed so that the audience cares about his character. We also learnt the importance of dialogue. The main thing that was discovered was the death scene caused the audience to lose interest as it is very hard to realistically show a death. So to keep the audience’s suspension of belief, we decided that to make the death unrealistic. When the character dies, there is going to be a heartbeat audio track running, a bright red light shining on the character to symbolise the blood that is on his body and to cause the audience to feel for the poor character, the character will have a soliloquy.

Dramatic inventions used in the performance

Spoken Thought

Red lighting to represent death (Suspension of disbelief)

Chorus of movement

Freeze Frames

Heartbeat soundtrack

Radio soundtrack

Exaggerated character

Breaking the 4th Wall


The intention of this performance is to unearth the true war profiteers and to show how corruption affected innocent people. The performance is about the life of two different people during the war; a money-hungry aristocrat and a poor young man. The story is how the aristocrat is happy that a war is declared and heavily gains wealth from it and ends up gaining awards, even though he led 1000’s of men to their death. However the young man unfortunately is forced into war and sadly dies, without any recognition.

To give the performance an WW1 feel, we are going to use radio recordings in-between scenes to broadcast facts. This was used to make our performance more factual and less bias, making it more believable to the audience. Also we plan to place propaganda pamphlets on the audience’s seats and when the conscription officer calls out names, he will call out some of the audiences name, to make the audience feel like many British men during the time (they didn’t sign up for this).


Through the use of the ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ script and research about WW1 profiteers, this flooded me and my groups with ideas. We wanted to devise a performance that has the intentions of broadcasting the corruption and greed in war.

I plan to dress as a rich aristocrat with a walking stick to project my status with against the other characters.

Reflection and Evaluation

The intention of our performance was to shine a light of corruption during the war and the inequalities of different statuses as well. I believe that we successfully showed the different intentions, but some technological problems need to be looked at.

After the technical and dress rehearsal, a lot of changes were made. We realised that improvising on lines really stopped the flow of the performance and made it less powerful. We also got rid of one whole scene which really helped the overall message of the play as the characters were less confused. Also we learnt how powerful the lighting could be as we used strobe lighting for the fighting scene to create a dramatic effect. We also used fading of light to make the transactions of scenes more smoother as well. Before my character was quite neutral towards Bruke, however in the dress rehearsal I was much harsher and aggressive towards him which worked better as it allowed Bruke to develop his character and the audience can feel sorry for Bruke’s character. This helped us achieve our intention as now it was clear the different of status, and it showed how inconsiderate my character was due to his hunger for money.

We also tried to make the transition from the skeet scene to the trenches scene smooth by having no fade of light, instead the scene will start with strobe lighting, making the soldiers feel scared and confused, just how soldiers would feel in that situation, making it realistic. However due to technological mistakes, the scene seemed less powerful and unprofessional. Another aspect that needs cleaning up is the dialogue as it seems unprofessional as most of it was improvised.

Unfortunately because we decided to cut the conscription scene out, we couldn’t the propaganda pamphlets on the audience’s seats. I felt that if we didn’t cut the scene, the feeling of unauthorised pressure on the audience could really help us with our intention.

One aspect that worked very well was the use of radio recordings in-between scenes. This worked well because it created a real 1900’s atmosphere and it gave the audience clues about the next scene, allowing them to use their imagination.

The use of un-naturalistic aspects really helped with the overall intention of the performance. An example of this is me and Bruke’s spoken thought as it revealed my actual feelings about the declaration of war and made the audience understand what the character is going through. Another example was the use of the heartbeat soundtrack and red light to signify that Bruke character has died.

Light and Sound Script

start off with all lights down.

Sound – Play radio 1 (voice-over) July 28th, 1914

Light – when sound ends fade to white light

Bruke and Gabriel begin to act when Bruke turns on the radio…

Sound – Play radio 2
(radio) Hello and welcome to the BBC I will talk story Austria-Hungary has declared war on Serbia the possibility of a wider conflict is looming over the rest of Europe.

Spoken thoughts by Bruke and Gabriel.
Light – red + white.
Bruke will go last.
Light – white

They will carry on acting

Freeze frame.

Light – fade to black
Sound – Play radio 4 in darkness.
(Radio) The spoils of War a glorious businessman who own weapons factory across the world are living in a world Of glamour and riches, their only worry, what happens when the war ends.

Light – when radio ends white light.

They act and shoot clay discs.

Sound – After second shots, play machine gun. Until Arthur runs on stage
Light – flash white with the machine gun.

Sound – When Bruke starts walking forward play heart beat.
Light – flash red with the heart beats.

Hold red light.

Light – When Bruke walks backwards fade to white.
When Arthur and Gabriel shake hands fade red





During the dress rehearsals, a problem arised with my character. My character was too like myself and not like the rich aristocrat I was meant to be. So through constructive criticism and watching videos of rich aristocrat during WW1, I was able to adapt my character into the uncaring, money hungry, aristocrat I was meant to be.

Feb 23 2016

iGCSE Component 2- Transformation

Can you smell that?  The lilac? I’ve always found that it got up my nose, this morning especially.  As I made my way down Palestine Street, I couldn’t stop thinking about my wife. It’s the lilac. Her soothing voice. Her loving personality.

Deep in thought, I bumped into two blind men. They were dressed in worn out black rags, badly woven, their feet tired and arms saggy. It seemed their only footwear were a pair of dirty brown, battered sandals. Next to them lay a half eaten apple, one dinar and two decaying loaves of bread. As flying insects passed the two men, they stopped and swarmed around them.

“Sorry, I didn’t see you there,” I said.

Instead of speaking, they beckoned me over, letting out a chesty croak. Interested, I obeyed and sat beside them. “Bring me your hand,” one of the men mumbled, but started coughing viciously.

I patted his back and as I held out my hand, his hand was grey and ashy. It looked aged and tired. He studied my face. “You’re a foreigner aren’t you,” said the other man.

“Yes, yes I am,” I responded as my face started to burn in embarrassment. “H-how did you know”, I said slowly.

“Oh, just a lucky guess I suppose”, said the man, as he revealed their golden yellow teeth. Seeing the golden yellow shine, I reached into my pockets and pulled out two jet black dinars. Then the black dinars smashed onto the ground. One of the men aggressively smacked the dinars out of my hand. My mouth open wide, hands trembling. “How dare you,” screamed the man but tears streamed down his face.

What should I do? I just met these people, I thought to myself. I slowly picked up the dinars and looked around Palestine Street. Sounds of joyous shouts and cheers could be heard as a vibrant party was in full flow. Exotic yellow and purple infiltrated the air as smoke machines caused a colourful catastrophe. Yet I was here, on the hard floor, apologising and consolidating.

Time slowly passed as me and the calm man had to calm the sad man down. “I’m a journalist, reporting the events in Iraq,” I explained. Both beggars stood up and in perfect synchronisation, with swift, precise movement, and with excellent execution performed the salute of the Imperial Guards. A tear scrolled down my left eye. Pride and war exploded right at me. I could feel the pain and desperation from the salute. Cries from fighting soldiers and crying mothers could be heard. Now I remember. I recently interviewed a former member of Boko Haram. They described to me the horrendous acts they committed to the innocent Nigerian citizens; murdering, beating and… As my train of thought was chugging along, one of the men interrupted me. “We’ve seen brain blown to bits, innocent bystanders brutally murdered and vulnerable, young women raped. At times we… we were committing these despicable crimes.” His eyes grew closer and closer to gravity as he spoke.

Varying thoughts were swirling across my mind. Who, what, how did they know? Are these men spirits?

“We were private guards for Saddam Hussein”, the one of the men said. I gasped. Silence. 30 seconds passed. I broke the silence and asked why. As I asked, one of the mysterious men, stood up and came close to me, breathed heavily, their breath foul and said softly, “money, power and women; that’s all we wanted.” They didn’t look me in the eye, their piercing eyes, filled with shame.

Jan 28 2016

You Cannot Define Black Culture

Dear Ms Birbalsingh,

London is a vibrant, multicultural city that holds many diverse cultures in it. Unfortunately, these cultures clashed in the London riots. Instead of using this as an opportunity to ask why, you used this space to blame black culture as the main cause for the riots. You cannot define black culture and I will explore why.

What colour was Mark Duggan? He was black. Mark Duggan had history with the police and committed petty crimes. You know, the stereotypical young black male living in London. So once the news hit British citizens, the vast majority believed that the death was ‘justified’. However, after further investigations, Mark Duggan did not fire any shots, as the weapon was in the back seat. Time and time again, British police have committed crimes and escaped penalty, and this case is just another number added to the statistic.

The police, to some: defenders of peace, but to black people? Their worst enemy. 333 black people have died in police custody without any convictions or suspensions since 1998. This shows that the Metropolitan police have a poor history and even their inspection board (IPCC) are corrupt in covering up the police brutalities. This fact is shocking and also harms your argument, as you say “the police did not kill this man in cold blood” and “the police defended themselves”. Police brutality isn’t the only problem. Did you know that a black person is 17.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than a white person?

Black people’s relationship with the police isn’t the only problem they’re facing. They have been at the bottom of the social ladder for hundreds of years, and in some parts of the UK, still are. Haringey, Tottenham has the fourth highest level of child poverty in London and an unemployment rate of 8.8%, which is double the national average. Therefore with the problems that Tottenham were facing, they had a right to feel irritated and angry. Also the richest 10% in the UK are 100 times better off than the poorest, this means that the rich is getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Crime, ill-health, imprisonment and mental illness have also increased due to poor social mobility. Finally, recent austerity cuts by the government sparked even more anger and unrest, which was capped of by the death of Mark Duggan which was the main reason for the London Riots, not black people.

Black people only count for 3% of the population in the UK, a huge minority. Throughout history, we have seen how media and propaganda have unfairly targeted minorities. But yet you say “black youths have once again set London alight”. Strong comments like this, from people with power, is the reason why racism is still so profound in our society. Is every black person violent? No, so where is the idea of black culture being violent sprouting from? Was Martin Luther King violent? No. But yet he was able to inspire and change American culture for the better. However history and society have based black people as a violent race because of a minority of blacks, which is wrong. The media are also part of the problem. Their bias and unfair pictures also captured black people in a bad light.

Martin Luther King dreamed of a world in which men and women were “judged by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin”. Unfortunately in this day and age, due to people’s mindsets just like yours, King’s dream still hasn’t come to fruition.

Jan 20 2016

Writing To Argue

Dear Mrs Hopkins,

For many years the journalism industry has created nasty characters with strong, questionable opinions. However when I came across your article, I was viciously troubled. I commend you for your bravery – not a lot of people would have the courage to be as disrespectful and verbally violent as you. ‘Feral humans.’ That’s what you call migrants who are fleeing from a war, migrants who are looking for better lives. The thing that makes me laugh is that you thought you were covert enough to get away with racial abuse. It is outrageous how you describe human beings as ‘cockroaches’. Cockroaches are known to be pests, vermin and unpleasant insects that carry dangerous diseases. Therefore you seem to believe that the migrants are just pests who will bring nothing but overpopulation and diseases. This type of offensive language is unacceptable and just plain shallow. What were you thinking?

Europe is a very special and powerful continent. You know that, I know that, but the thing you don’t know is that other continents, other countries, are also special and make a crucial contribution to the UK’s economy. So your comment stating Italians need to “stop singing opera, drinking espresso and looking chic in chuffing everything” is rude and inapproriate. According to statistics, the migrants that enter the UK create more money than they take out: since 2000, migrants have contributed £25 billion to the UK economy, migrants have worked more and received less than the average Briton and between 2001-11 migrants have paid 34% more in taxes than benefits. So why do you describe these migrants as a “plague”?

I accept that in recent years the UK has received a flood of migrants that has led to higher competitiveness in jobs and that migration has been a drain on resources. However, migration is a vital form of help and protection for vulnerable migrants who are in crisis. If we don’t reach out to take people in, we will have death and suffering on our conscience for years to come. They don’t deserve unneeded criticism from you, Mrs Hopkins, instead they need empathy from British citizens.

Migration brings innovation and cultural, vibrant energy to the UK, allowing the UK to embrace new cultures and ideas to enrich the country. From 1685-1700, the UK took in 100,000 French Protestants, over 200,000 Eastern-European Jews sought refuge in the UK from 1880-1914 and a quarter of a million Polish refugees settled in the UK in the Second World War. This an enourmous amount, especially considering that the British were not as influencial and powerful during the 16th and 17th century. Also the migrants have had a significant role in British culture and society such as: Sir Montague Burton, the founder of Burton Menswear, Micheal Marks, who is the founder of Marks and Spencer and Karl Marx, a famous economist and philosopher. The significance of the famous migrants is that they have contributed positively to the UK. But yet you say you would “use gunships to stop migrants”, migrants who possibly could help shape British society for the better? Why?

But that is not point. The point is that we need to offer these migrants an opportunity to escape from their problems and gain entrance to a new, brighter start. It is strange how the UK has only 2% of the world’s refugees and yet an 2002 opinion poll revealed that British citizens feel that we host 26%. Where has this negative climate towards migrants come from, who can we blame for this? Perhaps these assumptions are due to poor and bias media coverage from journalists like you, Mrs Hopkins. Who held minorities in slavery and captivity for hundreds of years? White people were responsible. But yet you have the nerve to still accuse and shame these minorities who need help.

As a black student, how would it look if I went and called all my white teachers maggots? How would society view me? White people would condemn what I said and the hungry for stories media would ridicule me harshly because of my black skin colour. Martin Luther King fought for equality for every race in America, but yet your views do the exact opposite and prey upon the vulnerable minorities.