Les Miserable

Les Miserable

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Les Miserable

RESPONSE PHASE

We were introduced to two different drama texts. Text one was a song
called "Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins, a British singer,
songwriter. The song was written at around 1985. Text two is an
extract from the musical "Les Miserable." The extract is called "Look
Down" and is set on the streets of Paris in 1832. For text one we were
asked to listen to the song and discuss the storyline, themes and
characters. The fact that the song is about people that are in poverty
and how other people feel towards them. The lyrics from the song are
about two characters, a man who is a passer-by in the street and a
homeless woman in the street. She asks him for help. "Sir can you help
me? But he ignores her, "He pretends he can't hear her". The man
represents ignorance and the woman represents poverty. Phil Collins
directs the song at us by saying "Its another day for you and me in
Paradise". He means that we're in paradise compared to the lives oh
homeless people.

We were also asked to read the script from "Les Miserable"; the
extract is called "Look Down". We each picked a character and then we
read the script. Les Miserable is about the life of poor people in
Paris and they want to start a revolution against the French
government and the monarchy. However, they all say that they need
Lamarque but he is ill.

The similarities between the two texts are they both are about poverty
and how higher class people feel towards them and they help the poor
or not. Basically, the theme of the two texts are that they are set in
Britain around 1985 - 1990, the same time it was written.

There are three levels of still-image; I played a poor woman on the
street asking for money. There was another character sitting on the
floor. There was also another character sitting in his shop watching
from the window. I also did a thought track for my character, saying
aloud the thoughts of the character. Face expression is very
important.

We had to do a still image of a character from Les Miserable; I posed
as Gavroche. I was standing, looking towards the ground and I looked
miserable, then I had to speak aloud the thoughts of Gavroche. I said
that I was just a child trying to survive from a terrible lifestyle
and I wished that Lamarque were here to help me and other people like
me. The characters still image (as Gavroche) was similar to the
character I created for the song because they were both poor and

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miserable. The differences are that my still-image of Gavroche is
standing and my pose was more childish them the character I created
for the song.

We had four characters for our role-play. The poor man was lying on
the floor and asking for spare change. A rich musician on the phone,
walking past the poor man and being accompanied by a bodyguard who
tells the poor man to move when the poor man asks him for any spare
change that the rich man may have. This is observed by the fourth
character, a shop owner watching from his shop window.

I played the poor old man who was begging for money, I played him with
a sore throat as if he was ill, I showed this from the his voice. I
was lying on the floor, which reflected that he was tired and my eyes
were half open which reflected that he was sick, or a drug addict. I
think that I played my character very well indeed; it also reflected
the events, which happened in the song because the character looked
terrible and compared to him other people are living in paradise. It
worked well because it was quite similar to what happened in the song
"Another Day in Paradise" when the woman calls out to the man on the
street and he ignores pretending he can't hear her.

T o help me prepare for my character as the poor old man I was hot
seated. I preferred to play a young man that ran away from home, his
parents were strict Muslims and disapproved of him having a
girlfriend, he loved her, and she said that she loved him. His parents
kicked him out of home to teach him a lesson, and then he went to live
with his girlfriend, but she refused him and she didn't really love
him. When doing the hot-seating I was asked questions as my character
such as, my name? My age? Why I'm living on the streets? What its like
living on the streets? Has there been anyone to help me? …Etc

I've learnt that my character could be one of many young adults that
are living on the streets. I've also learnt that people shouldn't
trust others so easily because it can cause problems. I think that it
was an effective way of developing my character because it helped to
bring out the problem that he was facing and ways of dealing with it.
My answers to the questions as my character helped fit the story.

We were asked to crosscut two storylines based upon the extract from
"Les Miserable". We had two storylines; one was of two rich
politicians discussing what was going to done with the poor and
homeless during Christmas time, they were discussing this in a
luxurious restaurant. The other storyline was about two poor homeless
men getting drunk and criticising the French government. It is related
to the extract that we read because they are both about starting a
revolution. They were about starting a revolution. They were both also
about looking down on people. We used freeze-frame to crosscut our
scenes linked with a third, which had all the actors in the last scene
where we acted as demonstrators trying to get the attention of members
of the public so they can help by joining in the revolution.

All the skills that I have worked on have been aimed at helping me to
explore the texts that I was given. The role-play really helped me to
understand the first text; the hot-seating helped my performance in
the role-play. For the second text, we worked on still-image and
thought track, which helped with my face expressions and body
language. The crosscutting helped with my acting performance and
directing.
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