The main theme of all three plays is childhood and the cruelty that surrounds children. Each play has its own cruelty and its own power battles. In blue remembered hills the cruelty is shown through the teasing of Raymond and the teasing and eventual death of Donald. The power battles are shown through the often talked about but never seen ‘Wallace Wilson’ and the fights and arguments between Peter and John. In my mother said I never should the teasing and the exclusion of Doris shows the cruelty of the kids.
In Gum and Goo it’s shown through the bullying of Michelle. There is potential for humour in all three plays because they all involve children, however, this humour should not detract from the serious often-tragic events and messages. We are almost made to feel guilty for laughing one minute then seeing how awful the children can be in the next. For example in blue remembered scene 5 Donald asks Angela for a kiss, she ignored him and proceeds to talk to Audrey.
‘Give us a kiss’ (Donald). We have directed Donald to shut his eyes and pout his lips.
He rocks about with his eyes shut whilst the audiences attention is drawn to Angela and Audrey’s conversation, Donald loses his balance and fall’s over backwards providing childish amusement. The humour is greatly contrasted with thee tragedy in all three plays. Donald ends up being killed in a fire by childish banter. Gum and Goo ends with Michelle’s death so again the humour contrasts with this.
The serious message in my mother said I never should is how the women have been shifted and suppressed by society’s pressures and expectation’s.
In Gum and Goo there is a scene where Greg and Phil are having an almost serious argument as to whether a gorilla and a ford cortina can have sex. This provides a lot of potential for humour, as it’s an amusing topic. At first it starts of as childish talk with the kids talking about how Michelle’s dad is a gorilla and her mum’s a ford cortina. At this point I would have them nudging and laughing and giggling and being generally childish and silly.
Then as soon as Phil says ‘I bet her ma’s a ford cortina’ Greg would instantly stop laughing, stand up straight and look at Phil with an expression of utter disgust, he would then say ‘don’t be stupid,’ with a pause so the audience thinks he’s going to say something intelligent, he would sneer a bit as if to say ‘what’s he on about’, then he could maybe look at the audience and shake his head with his eyes closed looking at the floor in an exasperated manner. Then he would look at Phil and say ‘ a gorilla and a ford cortina can’t have sex’.
In scene one of my mother said I never should Rosie is trying to get Doris to recite the saying ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’. After it’s completed with some help from Margaret, Jackie say’s ‘lets kill our mummy’. This bit has comic potential because it’s an out of the blue taboo subject that is very strange to here children talking about. It’s unnerving from the beginning. Jackie would be playing with something in the corner so she’s not really noticed because this is her first line.
When ‘all things nice’ is said she would look up and away from the girls with a thoughtful frown and the look at the girls with her chin slightly raised and say ‘let’s kill our mummy’ with a blank expression as though she’s just said something really boring. Then she would blink a couple of times whilst the girls looked around so the audience expects them to say something about how bad that was but then they would start asking questions about it so it would be slightly amusing.
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