The review relates apparent production concepts and elements portrayed on the stage. It focuses on performance and principles of performers by looking at sounds, movements, and gestures. It also reviews styles of performance based on acting styles and performance as well as themes and production concepts.
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The entire story of the Wild Bride emanates from the dance that creates the stage. The girl (Audrey Brisson) shows innocence as she jumps and embraces her father (Stuart Goodwin) and giggles. We can notice that the father loves her daughter. The daughter also loves her father.
However, we have a father tricked into trading his daughter to the Devil with devastating results. Stuart McLoughlin (the Devil) negotiates a business deal with the father of the Bride to sale the backyard with everything in it. The father did not realize that her daughter was there too.
As a result, she must escape from the Devil’s grip. The Devil realizes that the girl’s hands are too pure for him and asks the girl’s father to chop them off for him. However, the girl retains her purity in her soul. As a result, the girl cannot forgive her father, starts her adventure into woods, and turns into a wild woman.
We can follow the typical journey of the Bride from the wilderness to redemption. Emma Rice (Director) combines various elements of performance such as dance, music, design, and poetry. This results into a passionate theatrical creation that sways the audience through various performances such as horror, surprise, pathos, and comic actions.
The wild woman becomes the Bride after her encounter with the Prince in the woods. We can notice that the Kneehigh production has a well-executed and enthusiastic theater work. It asserts the role of humanity as we realize this through images and sounds on the stage.
Three different performers play the role of the woman at different ages (Audrey Brisson, Patrycja Kujawska, and Eva Magyar). We note the role of the song and dance in these transition processes. We can notice the pain, confusion, endurance, and the final transformation of the girl.
Every performance achieves an instant of appalling magnificence and insight. This tripartite performance gives unusual transformation and depth to the performance because we can see all the women embrace different ages of the daughter, including her future.
We recognize the piece of music from Ian Ross, Stuart Goodwin, and Stuart McLoughlin. The blue music acts as the center of the play. However, we can notice other styles, which show and emphasize the emotional appeal of the performance.
The Kneehigh production does not refer to the word ‘cast’, but it uses ‘performer’. This is an attempt to show various skills from different performers. We can also note that the work deviates from the confinement of the usual drama performances. The performance reflects Kneehigh styles of singing, dancing, performing, and playing music.
This seems to be the norm of Rice’s productions. We can recognize the enchanting voice of the girl from the music. One outstanding feature is also the use of musical instruments throughout, and the performers rarely leave the arena.
At this point, we can also observe the details of human transformation and pear tree and light bulbs on the stage, and the letter-writing cast involving the Devil. Bill Mitchell brings nature to the stage with a tree with a twisted ladder and branches. On the stage, we can observe a littered stage with twigs and leaves. We also notice how the girl is muddy.
The Wild Bride reflects a story told on the stage. It appeals to audience’s imagination and sways viewers into a dream-like world. We can see how Rice portrays the initial performance in the drama. At this point, the Devil arrives and thrusts himself on the girl. We can see the transformation of the dark undertones and their effects on the innocent girl.
The director is able to create sinister acts and combine them with acts of comedians. However, we cannot realize this humor instantly. Instead, we have to experience the pain of the girl first and effects of the harsh weather on her. It reflects fairy tales, which emerge from folklores of the past.
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The drama has sounds, sights, and stories that transform performances of the theater. The viewers never know what to expect from the performers because they assume different roles such as singing, dancing, and playing comedies and instruments. This creates constant delights and surprises among viewers.
Reflection: SF Mime Troupe
Commedia dell’arte from Italy refers to Comedy of Profession. These are unwritten drama. They tend to focus on the way of performance instead of the theme of the drama. The play relied on chosen subjects and characters. The director named and determined their roles and relationships to one another together with scenes and acts. Performers must know their roles properly.
Stock characters achieve their goals because they have opportunities to change, heighten, and exaggerate scenes as their genius may allow them. Therefore, there is a need for constant surprises, clearness, and the use of wit, which come from the medieval period.
Stock characters have to find suitable words in order to arouse emotions of the audience. In addition, they also have to establish relations with their fellow performers. This requires characters to study their scenes thoroughly.
San Francisco Mime Troupe also uses stock characters in order to reach the audience with various messages. It also uses homilies and banal statements in story lines. We recognize the roles of stock characters in developing famous political satire. However, the general approach is mimicry. SF Mime Troupe also uses elements of American Melodrama. Stock characters must create fantasies, adopt exaggerated approaches with the strong story line in order to appeal to viewers.
However, the theme must present avowed observations. Stock characters focus on how America has achieved its status, which portrays fears, the growing power of religious bodies, and disenfranchised masses. Stock characters explore these issues by focusing on the government and corporate as in the God Fellas, 2006, Doing Good, 2007 and Making a Killing, 2007.
Stock characters appeal to viewers because of contemporary issues they explore. For instance, in 2008, they explored the issue of the global financial problem by playing the Red State. In this manner, stock characters can appeal to masses or the working class, who experience the greatest effects of economic troubles.
In some cases, the characters appeal to the audience to reclaim their nation because the government and corporate no longer care about them. Therefore, stock characters appeal to viewers by making extreme demands like making claims that the government should share the wealth of a nation with citizens who make that wealth.