Away By Micheal Gow Staging

1375 words - 6 pages

Drama is a genre that is deliberately written for performance and, therefore, the reader's understanding of the characters and issues is always improved by its staging.Explain how your understanding of Away was affected by your understanding of staging"Does art imitate reality, or reality, art?" (Aristotle). The Australian play, Away, by Michael Gow, can be interpreted as a form or art capturing patterns and aspects of reality, trying to make sense of the chaos we are surrounded by. Gow displays this by using conventions of stage. The music, magical element of fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream, the 'play within a play', the costume and lighting contribute to the effectiveness of staging to allow the reader to form developed understandings of characters and the issues Away deals with.Away is a play based in Australia during the late 1960's. The play features three families. "One family deals with the death of their son in the Vietnam War, another faces the prospect of losing their son through leukaemia" (McPherson) and the other battles with over-materialistic values of the mother and their relationship as a family. In a way the three families represent a microcosm of the society during that period. They are "imprisoned in a world in which their worth as human beings is measured in the cost of their holidays" (Akerholt). The lower to middle and upper classes are represented. Away is the story of change undergone by the characters and the realisation of what is "ultimately most important in our lives" (McPherson). Gow's play contains elements of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and King Lear, and is even structured in the five-act form, like many of Shakespeare's famous plays. Away is a pay that "presents a picture of human nature" (Lock).Mendelssohn's Wedding March and Overture from A Midsummer Night's Dream are featured in Away. Music is a form of art and expresses feelings and captures events in life. Mendelssohn's Overture is fairy-like and dainty. This gives to the listener the concept of magic and mischief. The overture is played at the opening of Away, during the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Tom, who plays Puck, is addressing the audience, reflecting on the events which occurred in the play. In Shakespeare's Greek comedy there is the supernatural element of fairies and the important role they play 'as nature' and representing those powerful forces. Mendelssohn's Overture is again played after the storm in scene five of act three. This also represents the supernatural element present in Away. It is a link with A Midsummer Night's Dream indicating the large role played by the fairies to bring about the change. The Wedding March also features as a form of art in Gow's play. In scene four of act three, the storm, which is the cause for change, consequently brings about "the process of healing" (McPherson). During this scene, the Wedding March is played. Weddings are a symbol of love and unity. To be...

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