Blackbird Play Review And Analysis Theatre Essay
After being separated for 15 old ages, Una comes looking for Ray at his workplace after detecting his image in a magazine. They one time had an illicit relationship, and have been enduring the effects of all time since. What transpires following is a series of chilling turns and turns every bit inside informations of their seamy yesteryear Begin to unknot.
Blackbird is basically a 75-minute dialogue between two tormented psyches, in an highly foul and under-maintained office larder, which Ray calls a “ pigpen ” . This intense confrontation, being the focal point of the full drama, situates itself in a confined infinite. The claustrophobia is apparent in the beginning of the drama, when Ray keeps happening alibis to go forth the larder.
Director Tracie Pang ‘s artistic waies add a dimension of obliging pragmatism, that would hold been otherwise losing from the near-claustrophobic confrontation taking topographic point onstage. The minimalist set design by Nicholas Li ( with merely a subdued fluorescent tubing visible radiation, a dispensing machine, a clotted litter bin, a few cabinets, one tabular array and four chairs ) echoes Ray ‘s pent-up life. The biting wire run alonging the top of the set is a fitting reminder of the entrapment Una felt throughout her full life. The elusive usage of sound by Darren Ng ( changeless bombinating sound of a dully running office ) besides contributes to the laid-back tone of the drama.
The most empyreal scene in the drama to the full transports the audience to live over that fatal minute of elopement 15 old ages ago. The interplay between histrions, set, visible radiations and sound is at its best. Darren Ng ‘s sound design ( sea gulls on a beach, a bell tolling midnight ) balances absolutely with the action onstage, badgering out the niceties during that scene. The projection of symbolic images on the larder windows besides creates a arresting consequence.
It is no surprise that David Harrower ‘s book has received the critical acclamation it has. The beauty of the book lies in its affectional gaining control of the juvenile mentality. The lines written for Una ‘s flashback of her younger yearss ( the longing ideas, the defense mechanism mechanism, the manner a immature miss would see the universe ) is spot-on and compendious. I am impressed by how Harrower easy teases the audience by taking to uncover morsels of new information about their yesteryear as the secret plan unfolds, therefore guaranting that the audience is invariably engaged.
Every line of duologue between Una and Ray is wrought with a dark emotion which blurs the boundaries between right and incorrect. The audience plunges deep into the damaged and disturbed minds of Harrower ‘s two characters who seek for replies but arrive at none. Like most dramas covering with illicit personal businesss, Blackbird leaves the audience inquiring: Who is the perpetrator? Who is the victim? Is there needfully a distinct right and incorrect in their relationship? It is Una who discovered Ray ‘s whereabouts and sought him out, but to what aim: Retaliation, rapprochement or declaration?
Augusto Boal, the laminitis of Theatre of the Oppressed, sees theatre as “ the passionate combat of two human existences on a platform ” ( Boal, 1995 ) . Boal ‘s attack efforts to replace passiveness with authorization ( soliloquy with duologue ) . Monologue creates a relationship of oppressor versus oppressed, as the individual speaking forces his opposite number into listening. All relationships could be given to go a soliloquy, a adult male and a adult female, one of them tends to go the histrion and the other one, the spectator.A Human relationship should be a duologue but one of them sometimes becomes active and the other passive.A So subjugation is this: All duologues that become soliloquies ( Boal, 1979 ) .
In Blackbird, the functions of the oppressor and the oppressed are invariably reversed as Una and Ray effort to presume power over each other. The confrontation between Una and Ray starts at a frantic gait with Una being the oppressor, circling Ray like a vulture and coercing him into a corner with words like a scalpel. Ray keeps happening alibis to go forth the larder as he suspects Una of concealing a arm.
However, the tabular arraies are turned ( literally ) when Ray starts to warrant his errors with an self-asserting tone, tilting towards Una with clinched fists, while Una tries to avoid him by confronting the wall. During Una ‘s flashback soliloquy, she clutches her bag tightly as she recalls about her agony, while Ray collapses into a chair, burying his caput in his thenar with repent. The tug-of-war continues as they dig up the past through passion-laden soliloquies and exchanges.
Blackbird is a duologue of injury and contrary passion, told with brilliant onstage chemical science. Recognition goes to Daniel Jenkins and Emma Yong for delving deep to bring forth inordinately superimposed public presentations. Their first-class bends bring Harrower ‘s deservedly-acclaimed book to life. I specifically wish to foreground Emma Yong ‘s public presentation.
Yong ‘s connexion to her character Una is exceptionally astonishing. She shows her singular versatility as a 27-year-old who has experienced deep calamity as a kid. This illicit matter resurfaces after 15 old ages where Ray has moved on to a new life, while Una has been left to submerge in shame. She remains stone-faced the full clip but her eyes show a myriad of emotions, from hatred to madness to confusion to hankering.
Yong ‘s cryings of conflicted hurting during her flashback soliloquy is attractively heart-wrenching. She competently navigates the complex psychological facet of Una ‘s character and conveys the emotional scope required for a character who had sexual familiarity with a adult male at a stamp age. However, one child defect would be her gait in line bringing, which sounds rushed at times.
Jenkins plays his character Ray with equal passion. His gait, in contrast to Yong, is more balanced. He discharges his public presentation with relish, prosecuting the audience and taking them to sympathize with his predicament as the play unfolds. I was surprised that Jenkins was non ab initio cast as the male lead.
Blackbird was postponed from March 2010 to September due to the unusual circumstance of histrion Patrick Teoh discontinuing the production. Teoh felt that he was unable to carry through the demands of the function. After watching the drama, one could likely see where he was coming from.
It is basically merely two people in the same infinite for 75 proceedingss, but truth be told, it did non experience that long at all. The 75-minute playing clip is filled to the lip with tangible tenseness and natural emotions. When the cliffhanger flood tide ended with a genuinely unexpected turn, I found myself at the border of my place.
Quoting Una ‘s opening line: “ Shocked? ”
Blackbird appears to be a simple state of affairs imploring for a simple judgement: “ It was abuse, was it non? ” But the complicated tangle of emotions leaves one with a feeling of disquiet and unease which is difficult to agitate off, even after the drape falls.