Discuss how successful your composer has been in using distinctly visual elements to create a particular point of view. How are images used to explore the ways in which we view the world? Individuals go through obstacles and challenges in life and as a result form a particular point of view about life. The stage production, the Shoe-horn Sonata, directed by John Misto successfully uses distinctively visual elements to make a point about the atrocities of war.
Lighting, stage directions and visual metaphors help Misto to create a personal, true story about WW2 nurses. This allows the audience to know about the untold story of thousands of women, and to consider the ways in which these individuals viewed the world. Through shoe horn sonata, Misto uses distinctively visual element to create particular views of individuals making bond of friendship. In an early scene where Sheila is aided by Bridie in hoisting a heavy suitcase onto the bed, we identify the director’s clever use of visual metaphor, the heavy suitcase.
The suitcase shows the level of emotional “baggage” Sheila carries, however with the assistance of Bridie; such a physical task is overcome. Throughout the play the characters chant “ichi ni san”. The use of Japanese in an otherwise English text highlights the strong connection between sheila and Bridie as it excludes the audience from the conversation.
The repetition of the visual metaphor at the end of the play shows the friendship has been refreshed by their reunion. Through the stage directions such as “Bridie squeezes sheila’s hand and tries to gently smile”, creates a more uplifting tone in order to show that by overcoming challenges together the friends have become stronger.
The technique visual metaphor in shoe horn sonata highlights the characters friendship in order to prove that individuals consider the ways in which they viewed the world. Distinctively visual techniques are used to explore the themes of survival and hardships in order to emphasise how two individuals responded to the consequences as nurses during WW2.
The use of projected images in the background during the play reinforce to the audience, the credibility and authenticity of Bridie and sheila’s stories. By highlighting that these events are based on true stories Misto creates a stronger emotional connection. The images also places Bridie and sheila’s stories in a broader context of the war which emphasises that their stories which representations of the typical experience of the thousands of Women during the war. The use of props also have similar effects as they bring authenticity to the play.
The shoe horn is a significant reoccurring motif throughout the play, and the story gets centred around it. At first it is shown as a tool for survival as it kept the nurses going because it ability to keep time as a metronome when they were singing. “tapping her imaginary shoe horn” this imagery shows that they are still able to remember the incidents of 50 years ago which is important as the music they created as a choir kept them motivated to do what was required of them. Later it is use to save Bridie from dying as Sheila trades the shoe horn for medicine from the Japanese.
With the use of visual technique Misto creates the idea of survival and hardships in shoe horn sonata as it helps individual’s particular point of view on how the audience see the experiences of the female nurses during WW2. Overall, Misto uses distinctively visual techniques in shoe- horn sonata such as visual metaphors, and projected images which explores the ideas of friendship and survival and hardships which help show that individuals go through obstacles and challenges in life and as a result form a particular point of view about life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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