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Cosi Analytical Essay

1028 words - 5 pages

Cosi, directed by David Berthold and staged at La Boite Theatre explores human potential, humanity despite mental instability and the assumptions of society in regards to love, relationships and mental health. All of these themes remain relevant despite the play being set in 1972. The production begins with a downhearted and pessimistic feel but evolves into a light-hearted comedy through the libidinous behaviour of Anthony Standish as Zac and the vocal strength and disciplined movement of James Stewart who portrays Henry. The show was successful in both engaging and entertaining the audience through the character development of Henry, the tension created by James Stewart and his ...view middle of the document...

This growth in character showed the overcoming of seemingly impossible boundaries using the power of the mind, however unstable it was. The character growth of Henry also produced a sympathetic emotional connection and only numerous occasions, created unconscious verbal responses. Stewart’s portrayal of such evolution successfully created a multidimensional character. This was through his skilled movement which succeeded in engaging and piquing the psychological interests of the audience members.
During Cosi, the realistic vocal manipulation and the delivery of lines by James Stewart assisted in the development of dramatic tension. Stewart’s first scene as Henry featured stammering and very few words, yet the character was still able to engage the audience through his significant moments of silence. It was Stewart’s quietness which created the mood of worthlessness and inferiority whilst the other ensemble members bickered amongst themselves. This was due to the way in which he held himself, with very little self-worth and confidence as the action was driven by tension of task. The power of his indirect gaze into nothingness and his ability to block out petty discussion was more engaging than the other actors on the stage. The other ensemble members used uninteresting and non-dynamic actions despite psychiatric habituation and were not as interesting as Henry’s calm yet mentally disturbed silence. It was in Henry’s line, “I know how to punch him so it won’t leave bruises,” it is hinted that Henry had a violent background. It was during the delivery of this line that Stewart’s fist was also cocked threateningly over Nick’s face. The tension of relationship and of task formed by the menace and strength in Stewart’s delivery of this line, whilst his arm was poised to strike Nick. This moment also created tension of the unexpected, as the small shell of a man who would not make eye contact was willing to assault Nick, who claimed that he was supporting the communists. Stewart, after defending Henry’s father who died in battle suddenly changed his demeanour to a threatening and powerful...

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