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In His Play 'the Trial' Berkoff Attempts To Create A Nightmarish Feel. Describe How You Would Create This Feeling On Stage With The Use Of The 'chorus Of 9 People Waiting'

1673 words - 7 pages

In the play 'The Trial' by Steven Berkoff there are many interesting features. I have found the 'nightmare' quality of the piece to be the most striking of these features and I feel that as a director this nightmarish aspect is key to the success of the piece. I would want the chorus of nine people waiting to play a significant part in creating this quality, especially visually.The casting process for the chorus would be very important to the development of the overall image of my chorus members. Firstly I would choose to have an all female chorus. This is because I want to create a strong sexual presence between the chorus and K at certain moments in the play. This in itself creates a form ...view middle of the document...

When the Chorus speak for the first time at the end of Act One I would want a range of voices to be heard. The four dressed as men should speak in a deeper more masculine tone, three of the women should speak at their natural pitch and the remaining two should speak in a higher than average pitch. This would make it sound as though there were more people there than there actually were. Using different pitches and tones of voice to make the number of people on stage appear exaggerated was heavily incorporated into a one man play called 'Out of Bounds' very successfully.At the beginning of the scene entitled 'The City' I would transform the chorus into male businessmen. I would achieve this by dressing them in black suits and ties with black loafers and briefcases. I would have their hair tied up in buns. For the acting I would want them to be walking briskly between the screens as though they were hurrying to work. They way they move should emphasise the fact that they are playing men. Their gait should consist of long strides and their shoulders should be slightly hunched. Occasionally they should nod to one another in greeting. Each member should be indistinguishable from the next so that they create the image of being a whole city of clones. Similar to a production of 'Romeo and Juliet' in which all the subordinate members of the Capulet household all appeared to be the same, as did the members of the Montague household. This is effective as the actors appear as a machine, all looking and functioning as one. Eight of the chorus members should be making the 'sound of the ticking of clocks' as they walk. The remaining member should be singing 'Joseph K' in the way in which a priest sings the alleluia at a Catholic mass. The sound should be deep and haunting, again adding to the nightmarish quality. This use of memorable haunting songs can be found in Lorca's 'Yerma' when she sings to herself about needing a child.I would want there to be some interaction between the chorus and the audience. One instance where I would want to see this interaction is when the chorus are describing how K has been arrested, shortly before the guards enter. I would have the chorus speak in cannon and as each one speaks she should turn to face the audience and direct her line towards them. The chorus members should tilt their heads slightly downwards so that their words are directed at the audience specifically rather than projected towards the back of the auditorium. This is designed to make the audience feel as though they have become a part of the nightmare which they see unfolding before them.When the guards enter I would have the chorus disappear into the wings where they could quickly strip out of their suits to reveal black and red lingerie, including black stockings and red suspenders. At this point they could also let their hair hang loose to emphasise their femininity and also disguise their faces slightly as I would still want to create the feeling of...

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