'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' by Stephen Sondheim

This play mainly revolves around Pseudolus, a lazy slave in Rome who will do almost anything to gain his wish of freedom. His master (Senex) and mistress (Domina) leave for the day and Pseudolus is left in charge of his owner’s young son called Hero. He then finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin called Philia. She is from the house of pleasure run by Marcus Lycus, a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women courtesans.

Philia has been sold to Captain Miles Gloriosus and is waiting for him to come and claim her.

Hero promises Pseudolus his freedom if he can arrange a marriage before his father returns. The main plot of the play is about Pseudolus trying to arrange for Hero and Philia to be together forever, as he runs into numerous obstacles along the way. Describe one actor’s performance that you particularly enjoyed. Why were they successful? I genuinely enjoyed all of the actor’s performances.

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The main character Psedolus played by Desmond Barrit was great.

I think he was successful because he had funny lines and a lot of communication/ interaction with the audience, which is always good as we feel involved. I also think he was successful because people can relate to his character, wanting something so much that you would do pretty much anything to get it. What visual elements were used to enhance the production? I thought that the set and costume really added the finishing touches to the performance.

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The play was set in roman times and both elements put that across perfectly.

There was an array of different costumes that I felt made the characters more believable, for us and the actors. The set stayed the same throughout the performance. There were three houses on stage, which had many uses. They had revolving doors which were used as exits and for comedic moments; the houses also had windows and open roofs which were also used throughout. As well as this there was a trap door in the floor center stage which was used in the same way, this was exciting cause you never knew what was going to come out of it.

Simple, creative and effective. The Lighting really enhanced the production as it was used to convey the mood of the characters and the atmosphere between them. It was also combined with sound and movement. What elements of this production inspired you? How could you use them in your own drama work? Definitely the idea of using movement, sound/music and lighting together to create an atmosphere which attacks the audiences senses and makes the performance more exciting.

This would be great to use during tense, dramatic, important, comedic scenes etc. Also I feel that musical theatre productions are great because songs are personal, and another way of finding out more about the character. Did you enjoy the production? Was it a play you liked or the way the company performed it? I really enjoyed this production. I really liked the way it was performed by the company, and the actual content of it. It was a hysterically humorous play, with catchy songs. I think musicals are great and just add to the scripted drama.

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'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' by Stephen Sondheim. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/a-funny-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-the-forum-by-stephen-sondheim-essay

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