Willy Russell's Use of Dramatic Techniques Essay

Willy Russell's Use of Dramatic Techniques Essay

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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...


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...imilar lifestyle to hers. When he was a child he didn’t care much for education and it wasn’t until later on in his life that he discovered that there’s more to life than watching the telly and working in a factory. This, more or less, sums up how Rita ends up in Frank’s office - because she wants to learn about ‘everything’. Even his language changes, like hers does, as at the beginning of the play she speaks with a very colloquial accent (‘They’re effin’ and blindin’ all day long. It’s all ‘Pass me the fackin# grouse’ with them, isn’t it? But y’ can’t tell…‘) which later develops and becomes more sophisticated (’But I couldn‘t have understood it then, Frank, because I wouldn‘t have been able to recognize and understand the allusions‘), in the same way that Russell described his change: ‘They talk funny in Whiston… Liverpudlians who taught me how to talk correctly’

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