Our group first read the play of Little Red Riding Hood by the Grimm Brothers in our seminar; we then had a group discussion about what we each thought were the main themes that stood out to us, and ideas of how to portray them through our performance. We came up with:
6. Decision making / choosing the right path
I looked into other international versions of the play, for example Lon Po Po is the Chinese version written by Ed Young, also Little Red Hat written in Italy/Austria, and three main themes stood out to me, choosing the right path, seduction and temptation.
I also read Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner, and this version really made me think about social and cultural issues that have influenced this story, this story was first written in a time without equal rights and political fairness, and this version shows how our society has changed an adapted this story, when first written this story had one moral for young children to steer away from strangers, this because of our society today has changed, into a more sexist version of young girls staying away from men, and how men can be dangerous and violent.
These issues that have changed because of society, stood out to me, and I wanted to create a modern version with the same issues, however not having a sexiest view, I believe women can seduce men, giving wrong impressions, making a man frustrated or the other way around, and violence can come from both sexes too.
We had four main characters two boys and two girls, and a problem we had to overcome was how to show our themes through a story line, we wanted to have a twist in the story to show choosing the right path, and the audience seeing the separate paths chosen by each character. A bar set up; is a typical place were certain paths need to be chosen. I was a seducing girl, whilst my sister was an underage innocent girl so the audience automatically felt it was her that something bad would happen to.
This is then were the social issues came in, two boys taking home two girls, one that wanted to and one that didn’t. Our group then faced the problem of how to show these issues without being sexist and prejudice. To overcome this in the end each character portrayed a different theme, we showed that different paths can lead to better or worse endings, I seduced and ended up being the one who got hurt, which surprised the audience as Will was shown as the innocent boy, who then turned violent, however Chloe finally said no, chose her right path, and Adam took her safely home.
A system we used was using a narrator, but also using her character to help influence our play. We opened our play with Sarah being our narrator and telling our story, but as a Bar manager of a pub, so instead of being a narrator who’s not in the play, we managed to incorporate her to play a big role of telling our story to the audience, another example is telling Chloe to make the right decision to go home, which fitted very well, because as Sarah is a bar manager it would be normal for her to see drunk girls, going home with men, and Sarah influenced the decision for Chloe to go home.
One scene that is used that I feel conveyed meaning is between Will and me, when Will became violent. We conveyed this meaning through the play by constantly calling Will a “prick” making Will angry. In our scene near the end I verbally abuse Will, and call him a “prick”, by this point his anger is too much as he has been called it many times, and he has finally had enough of being victimized an becomes violent towards me, although now the audience doesn’t see what Will did to me, it shows a meaning to the audience of how people can change being bullied as Will was the kind, funny one and he was pressured into doing something he didn’t want to do, and also the wrong path I had taken, as I didn’t walk away, I gave him abuse which wasn’t needed.
I feel that a weakness that we could have improved on, is the still images from scene to scene, as we needed to have worked on being perfectly still and not moving to make the play look more realistic. Another weakness is the knowing of the queues to when our lines were, because we focused so much on what was going into the story line and themes, through our actions is were our themes were most shown, and line queues were added after, if I did this again I would make sure we did lines at the same time to make the play look more flowing.
The strengths of our play, I think is how we showed our themes, and how we kept the audience engaged. Through the play there were parts of comedy and then parts of serious drama, which kept the audience engaged and the themes were shown all the way through. Another strength would be I feel how we used our narrator, Sarah was changed a lot as to begin with she wasn’t in the play and just a narrator telling the story, but by putting Sarah in the play it made our play a lot stronger, and it made the play make a lot more sense, I’ve learnt that taking risks and trying out different methods before making a final decision, is a good way to see what looks wrong and right and what influences and adds to the play.