Nov 30 2015

The Flesh Is Mine- Working Record- Reflection

Overall I believe that me and my group achieved our goals in the final assessment. The performance was a suitable time frame, the overall message was clearly presented and character intentions were applied. For example I planned and practised my character (Ajax) to be more stubborn and angry at Achilles. However when practising with my group and listening to advice from my teachers and my peers, I realised that angry/stubborn role wasn’t suitable at times as Ajax is Achilles’s friend, so he is trying to help Achilles make the correct decision. Instead of being a angry character towards Achilles, I decided to be more sympathising to Achilles, however I still have small moments of anger towards Achilles as Achilles doesn’t listen to Ajax straight away.

Another area of the performance that was changed was the entering into the scene. In our rehearsals, I (Ajax) carried the dead body of Patroclus into the scene. This seemed like a good idea at first, however the sense of realism was non-existent when I carried the body. Discussing the problem with my group and drama teachers, we came to a conclusion that having Patroclus already on the scene was the best way to present all the characters first emotions.

As stated before, there were certain areas of our performance that lacked quality. This could be seen when the scene started and Achilles started to walk in slow motion before Phoenix and Ajax, poor synchronization . Also our intentions were to have Achilles and Ajax stare each other down once they reached Patroclus’s dead body. Ajax was meant to look angrily at Achilles and Achilles was meant to look mystifyingly and shockingly at Ajax. We did achieve some the staring down of Ajax and Achilles, however we did not hold the stare down for a long enough period of time. Therefore the power and tension that could have been achieved was not fully tapped in to.

I and my group thoroughly discussed how lighting could be used at the end of the scene. Brian Woolland has a stage direction at the end of the scene, which states that there is meant to be darkness after Achilles’s last words. In the final performance, the lights did turn off but it didn’t fade the way we intended it to do. This was due to human error. Even though the lighting aspect of the scene wasn’t to standard, I believed that we interpreted parts from the scene in the playwright’s intention. This can be seen when Ajax is seen to get progressively upset when Phoenix and Achilles are talking. Then suddenly Ajax loses control, takes off his shirt, and shouts at Achilles. Brian Woolland intended this particular aspect of the scene to present Ajax as getting progressively annoyed at Achilles.

Nov 30 2015

The Flesh Is Mine- Working Record- After Performance

My character is Ajax. Before the scene unravels, my character Ajax has just came back from a hard war. He is bruised, battered and angered with the death of a dear friend (Patroclus). Basically Ajax wants the best for Achilles as they are friends, however it becomes apparent Ajax is getting agitated from the fact that Achilles doesn’t straight away accept blame and responsibility for the death of Patroclus in the scene. Ajax tries his upmost best to reason with Achilles but in the end he loses control in the scene and shouts at Achilles. The scene starts with all three characters that are all back to back. The idea was good but the deliverance was poor as Achilles and Ajax were out of sync. To improve we should have practised more on timing. Also we used ‘The Last Post’ song when the scene started and when the scene ended. Again the idea was to set the scene of as a funeral type scene, to create a sad, melancholy mood. However in the final performance, the sound cut off too quickly which stopped the funeral type of mood. To improve we should work in more detail on the deliverance of sound.

The costume that I decided to wear was a black buttoned shirt, black trousers and black trainers. I also wore a black/gold watch. The reason behind this is to represent Ajax’s anger and dismay for the death of Patroclus. Underneath my shirt I had a red shirt which was seen after Ajax flipped out and removed his shirt. The semiotics behind this is to show that Ajax has had enough of Achilles moaning and shows his anger through the shirt. Ajax and Phoenix both had mobile phones and modern day watches, however Achilles’s costume is olden day and basic, he has no modern day item. This is to represent the mind sets of the characters. Ajax and Phoenix have both mourned over the death of Patroclus but have moved on and do not hold any grudges. However Achilles has hatred for the war and the person who killed Patroclus, which is Hector. Achilles states in the scene that he is planning to get revenge and kill Hector. Phoenix is tired. He is tired from the war and is tired of war. This could be seen when he was performing as his face was melancholy and tired throughout the performance. The fact that he was old, he is wiser and has experienced more, so therefore in the scene he tries his best to tell Achilles to walk away.

Me and my group decided to set up the stage with a black block near the back of the stage, a small white cross in the middle of the stage and used bags and blazer jackets to represent the dead body of Patroclus. The semiotic representation of the white cross is to show the purity and sacrifice of Patroclus. Patroclus was fighting for Achilles with good intentions and died with a pure heart. In the scene, Ajax and Phoenix both take of their shirts and throw it on Patroclus to represent anger and respect. The semiotics behind this is to represent that Ajax and Phoenix have moved on. But Achilles does not remove his shirt to represent that he has not moved on from the death and wants revenge. He needs to kill Hector for his conscious to be clear.

We were introduced to a man called Stanislavski. We were also introduced into a dramatic learning technique called ‘Magic IF’. This was when we put ourselves into our characters shoes and discuss how our characters would react to a situation. This helped me prepare by putting myself into Ajax shoes. I had to think about how Ajax would feel in the morning, the setting of the area that the scene was set in etc. This gave me more depth and emotion when playing Ajax.

I believe that have our scene was performed in the intentions of the playwright (Brian Woolland) as we represented the time frame in the scene and the semiotic representation of each character. The genre of the play is Greek tragedy and the performance style was naturalistic. So we used realistic semiotics to create a sadistic, tragic scene. This was important as if the performance style was non-naturalistic, it would stray away from tragedy and more to a comedic scene.

Nov 11 2015

The Flesh Is Mine- Working Record- Features and Peformance Style

When the play is staged in the past (Ancient Greece) the performance style is Greek Tragedy. The definition of a greek tradegy is “a play in which the protagonist, usually a man of importance and outstanding personal qualities, falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which he cannot deal“.In ‘The Flesh Is Mine’ the protagonist is Achilles and due to the uncontrollable fact that he cannot escape the war, causes him ulitmately lead to his death. The loss of Patroculus (his close friend, and in some interpretations his lover) doesn’t help with his escape. The performance style of the play is naturalistic as the characters do not directly address the audience or the play is not exaggerated to an extent where it is unbelievable. There are certain features that make this play unique to others, for example the fact that the timeframes switch from Ancient Greece to present time is very interesting. The way how scenery, costume and setting instantly change can also have a non-naturalistic feel to the play. I feel that this perfromance style is quite unique and possiblities are quite vast, e.g. some characters could have a costume change while acting to fit a certain timeframe.

In Act 1 Scene 9, Ajax and Phoenix come back with the sad news that Patroculus has unfournately been killed by the Prince of Troy, which is Hector. Mistifed with confusion and grief, throughout this scene Achilles conveys his thoughts and feelings with Phoenix and Ajax. Achilles, who is furious at Hector, decides to get revenge for Patroculus and kill Hector. He his warned by the wise and old Phoenix not to attempt this as fate states that if Hector dies, “his death will follow his”. Ajax (which is the character I’m playing) just came back from the war which he fought in. Ajax starts off very angry and annoyed at Achilles because of the death, but as Achilles starts to take responsibility, he warms up to Achilles and tries to comfort him. He then suddenly snaps out at Achilles near the end of the scene. I feel playing a character that is mixed with emotions is very challenging but can be very rewarding if done well.

Nov 10 2015

The Flesh Is Mine- Working Record- Background Of Brian Woolland

Brian Woolland worked as a van driver, a farm hand, a wine merchant and a photographer. He then worked in mainstream education and became a advisory teacher for drama. He then became a university teacher at the University of Reading. Brian Woolland regularly leads theatre workshops and teaches creative writing.

Brian Woolland is known as a publisher of academic books and also had success in playwriting. Brian Woolland has written three novels ‘Dead in the Water’, ‘Tunnel Vision’ and ‘The Gallows Cheat’. Brian Woolland has written five plays.

Brian Woolland got some experience of the situation between Israel and Palestine as he has been to Palestine and therefore the trip has helped with his understanding, which helped him write ‘The Flesh Is Mine’.

Brian Woolland

Nov 9 2015

This Flesh is Mine – Version 2 (and alternative version)

Nov 9 2015

This Flesh Is Mine- Working Record- Background

Historical Background of the play: The play is in two time zones, the Trojan War (a Greek myth) and the current Israeli war between Israel and Palestine over Gaza. The Trojans lived in the city of Troy, which is modern day Turkey. The Trojan War began when Paris, Prince of Troy, ran away with Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. The Greeks sent a fleet of ships, with an army, to get her back. The war lasted for 10 years. In single combat, the greatest Greek warrior, Achilles, killed the Trojan leader Hector. In the end the Greeks won, by a clever trick using a wooden horse.trojan war

The current Israeli is a conflict between Israel and Palestine as after World War II Israelis were given the land (Gaza) but the Palestinians wanted the land as well. It’s part of the wider Arab Israeli conflict. After World II, Isreal were given a large part of Palestine, but the neighbouring contries who were already living there felt unhappy and didn’t accept the Israeli’s. Then in 1948, Israel and the neighbouring countries went to war. In 2005 the Israeli’s finally decided to leave Gaza, but thaisrael vs palestinenks to a organisation called Hamas came into power and disrespected the views of the Israeli’s in Gaza and wanted the Palestinians to return to their old home, using violence to get their way.