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Willy Russell's Use Of Dramatic Techniques

967 words - 4 pages

In Act One, Scene One when Rita is first introduced, she’s a hairdresser and part of the working class. Russell introduced Rita as an audacious, ambitious but egoistic character. She isn’t scared to express her opinion, which generally amuses the audience, such as when she describes her opinion on the painting in Frank’s office she interprets it differently to what majority of the population would. The reason for her different interpretation is that she’s not educated to the degree that she would be familiar with that style of painting, this also becomes obvious when Frank and Rita discuss challenging death and disease: Rita refers to a poem that people in her class are more likely to read (later she describes this kind of poetry as ‘the sort of poetry you can understand’ and assumes that Frank won‘t like it as it’s simple and doesn’t have any hidden meanings) when Frank thought she was referring to a more sophisticated poem by Dylan Thomas. Throughout the scene we learn that Rita wants to understand ‘everything’ so she can enjoy things like ballet or opera, and that’s the reason why she enrolled on the course in the first place. She explains that she didn’t believe the University would accept her and the audience can see that she’s scared of what it might mean.

Willy Russell’s uses dramatic techniques such as speech directions in order to help the actor impersonate the character and send the right message across so the audience would react the way he planned. Russell uses speech directions to shows Rita’s personality, according to the speech directions Rita moves around quite a lot which some might think shows Rita’s diffidence as she doesn’t exactly know where she’s heading. On the other hand, other might interpret this as a sign of confidence because she’s not scared to sit in one place, but instead she chooses to explore the room.

Willy Russell also emphasis the importance of when and how Rita enters and leaves Franks offices at the beginning of each scene. In the play, Rita enters the room in a way that automatically sets the mood for the scene, her first phrases and the how she moves make it clear to the audience how are they supposed to react and what might happen in the scene. For example, in Act One, Scene 2, Frank finds Rita holding a can of oil in her hands because she was “just oilin’ it for y’ (Frank)”. The audience would hopefully think positively of Rita, and be amused by how casually she decides to help Frank in such an unusual way. This technique is as noticeable in the movie in some scenes, for example when Rita enters the room with a can of oil the effect on the audience is the same as it was in the play. However, some scenes in the movie have been developed...

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