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The normalising machine has two parts to it and I am going to talk about the first part that is what we did in the lessons. We started off by looking at the characters. We had to make a little improvisation up about how the characters are put across to us. We used still images, role plays and prepared improvisations. We had to make it obvious that the characters were greedy, manipulative and just plain stupid. The lessons then progressed and we started to take scenes from the normalising machine book. We made it, again obvious that the characters were greedy, manipulative and plain stupid. We took each lesson one at a time and kept trying to make it more and more obvious that the characters are who they are and people had to guess who was who in the play. We looked at everyone else’s performances and discussed their ideas and attitudes towards the play. Some examples of the other group’s ideas are: Using different levels, pushing people down to make it seem like they are in control, using still images to emphasise the point they are putting across and using split staging to make it obvious of what they are doing.
We discussed how these ideas helped the drama to progress onto the next stage which was trying to be over the top within the role of a character from the normalising machine. I found it very hard to be over the top and I think a lot of other people in the class did too. The drama had to be over the top because the play is very comical and if we weren’t over the top then it would have just been plain, simple, boring and totally rubbish. I thought that being over the top was a good thing to do but it is also a very hard thing to do. For instance, when Rudolf met Trudy at the tube station, he was so over the top and so outrageous that some people actually got worried that they were too over the top. Also when Rudolf met Mr and Mrs Tolerant he was also very over the top. This was very effective because the Mr Tolerant wanted to beat Rudolf up and he actually got scared of Rudolf because the character was “full of beans” and “giddy” as some people said, and when Mrs Tolerant said Rudolf was embarrassing her he got “frustrated” and “worked up” as some people said and he told Mr Tolerant to ask him to leave but Mr Tolerant insisted that he stayed. The only thing with Rudolf is that he sometimes gets worked up and feels frustrated because he is doing things wrong when he actually isn’t but he thinks he is.
Ben percent is Grace Beverly Brice’s P.R agent. He is the manipulated, sly and cunning character in the play. He swindles his way into the eyes of Grace Beverly Brice and becomes the official spokes person of Judge Juniper Jones. In the scene were he meets Grace Beverly Brice he shows her the contracts of some other people who aren’t actually celebrities any more but Grace Beverly Brice doesn’t realise this and as Ben Percent manipulates her into agreeing to draw up a contract, he gave a sly grin and walks away only wanting 10% of the money she makes from the normalising machine. Also, Ben Percent was the person who ‘finalised’ Doctor Michael Molecule because Ben got very worked up that Michael Molecule was spreading rumours about Grace Beverly Brice.
In this scene we see that when Doctor Michael Molecule enters the room with Ben Percent in it that whoever was in control of the other person would stand up and the person who had no control had been pushed down onto a chair. This is a very effective way of doing things because the audience could see who was and who wasn’t in control at that point, and as Ben percent offers for Doctor Michael Molecule to come back on the project of the normalising machine with the excuse that they need something to clear the dust from inside the machine and asks him what he wants to do, Ben Percent pushes Doctor Michael Molecule into the normalising machine and finalises him and gives a very sly and cunning laugh. This was also very effective because the book play shows that Ben percent is a very manipulating any character even if it means ‘finalising’ them.
Grace Beverly Brice is the character that completed the normalising machine because Doctor Michael Molecule got frustrated and couldn’t finish it because he didn’t know what to add to ‘sedate the radicals and the badicals’ so Grace Beverly Brice stepped in to finish the project and completed the machine to become a billionaire. Grace Beverly Brice is a manipulated character and a very innocent character who knows what she wants to do with her life but when it all boils down to it she is manipulated by Ben Percent.
All the scenes in this play were sometimes complicated to put together and to drop thoughts on, on how to bring the scene together so it looked like the person who was in charge was in charge and the person who was being manipulated was manipulated and the person who was manipulating was manipulating. I think some people found it very hard to be the character they was meant to be playing and to make it seem like they was in charge etc but the groups the people were in dropped some good thoughts and put it all together brilliantly and it looked very professional.
I am now going to talk about the development and presentation that the class did. Both groups based their plays on the normalising machine but changed the lines a bit except for my group. We based half of our development and presentation on the normalising machine. This part was the head teacher’s scene in the normalising machine book. We then went from that scene to a ‘Blind Date’ scene which was called ‘now been normalised’ and that was based on the characters from the normalising machine who had been normalised in the normalising machine and wanted to take Trudy on a romantic date. The characters we used are: Trudy, Ben Percent, Doctor Michael Molecule, Rudolf Right and Anthony Badlad. We used these characters because they are the most manipulating, over the top and vile characters in the book. We then used another scene from the book were Trudy takes Rudolf home to meet her parents. This scene is so over the top that even Rudolf was nearly laughing at himself because it was so funny and then we went back to the Head teacher who finished the whole play off by using smart and witty comments to make it so that he was put across as evil and cruel. We did this by making him have a very deep voice and made him to shout at the top of his voice for further credit to the character.
Over all I think this project was very good fun and we used a lot of skills to put across our point that the characters are who they are. Some of the skills we used are: still images, Role play, development and presentation, role within a role, hot seating, split staging and many more. All the plays that the other groups made were very good. They used all the skills that were needed in the scenes they were acting and even used more skills that weren’t needed but they put them in any way to make it even better for the audience to watch.