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Hi everyone, I'm Mrs. Bradley, and welcome back to drama.

And to lesson four in the evaluating stagecraft scheme when you're ready, let's get started.

In this lesson you will need some paper or an exercise book to write on and you'll need a pen to write with.

Let's look at what we'll do today.

Okay, so I hope you've done the intro quiz because that will have helped you recap some prior knowledge.

We will recap the prior learning from last lesson and then we'll move on to exploring what we call a directorial concept.

So this is something new for today, which relates to the clip of live theatre, which we're going to analyse.

You'll then spend some time writing about that clip.

So you'll describe, analyse and evaluate the features you see and that will take us to the exit quiz at the end which we'll just check your progress for this lesson.

All right, then.

So we're going to focus on some new key words today.

The first one is a concept.

So concept just means idea.

So theatre, you have a directorial concept often and it's the starting point for the director.

So you might have an existing play but the director has a new directorial concept.

So they want to maybe produce this play in a different way based on their own idea.

We're going to be looking at the use of pyrotechnics, which is very exciting.

So that's the name for fireworks or fire or explosions used in a very controlled way in the theatre for special effects.

And we're going to be looking at this word perspective.

So perspective is a viewpoint from which something is seen or experienced.

So it's all about perspective in art.

We all have a perspective on life and we're going to be looking at a character perspective today.

So in previous lessons, we've looked at the key skills for describing, analysing and evaluating live theatre.

So to describe means to give an accurate account of something in detail.

So that might be describing acting skills, describing lighting, describing set.

We've looked at analysing, which is giving an explanation for something and explaining why choices were made and what effects those had.

And we've looked at evaluating, which means coming to an overall judgement about the success of something.

So we're still going to use those skills today but we're going to build in something a little bit more complex.

So we're going to explore some new terminology.

We'll be looking today at the National Theatre production of Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle in 2011.

This production took Mary Shelley's 1818 novel.

So you may know the novel of Frankenstein already.

And this was adapted for the stage in a version written by Nick Dear.

So in the novel there is a character called Victor Frankenstein.

He's a young man, he's been to university in Ingolstadt.

And he studied philosophy and chemistry.

So he's very much into science and knowledge.

He's become obsessed with the secrets of life and exploring whether he can create real life.

And so what that leads him to do is create his own monster which I'm sure you're familiar with.

The monster is an innocent creature who Frankenstein is then horrified by and neglect.

And the monster escapes.

Throughout the novel we then see the monster try to integrate himself into human society without knowing how society works.

And that's how the novel is quite sad and tragic in parts.

So what we're going to focus on, speaking about new terminology, is a directorial concept for this production, which was introduced by Danny Boyle in the National Theatre production.

We need to know some of the key themes in the novel and how they were brought to life on stage.

So some of the key themes in Frankenstein include society and isolation.

So looking at those two things together, so society versus isolation.

Nature, the nature of monstrosity.

Prejudice and knowledge and discovery.

This particular production had some really interesting concepts which will help us analyse a key scene that we're going to look at.

So one thing that this production did was in the production the narrative was told from the perspective of the monster and that's different from the way the novel itself is structured.

So we saw things through the eyes of the monster.

The production also used the Industrial Revolution to provide a backdrop to the story and we'll explore what that means in a little bit more detail.

The production also used a Steampunk design aesthetic.

So, an aesthetic is a style or a look.

And this particular style was Steampunk in some certain scenes in the play.

And that represented the steam train in the production and the arrival of new steam power and electricity and the significance of those.

So that's quite a lot of information but those three things were key concepts in this production that was staged.

We're going to focus a little bit on the information that I've just given you about the Industrial Revolution and what Steampunk is.

So here I've prepared an information station.

So the Industrial Revolution was a period of time from roughly 1760 to 1840.

And it was a time of great change and great development, innovation.

So things were brand new and changed and developed.

It was a time when steam was introduced, steam power electricity.

So the steam engine, that obviously power trains, was developed in this period.

Then what that did was it transformed travel and it transformed the ability to transport produce and equipment.

So it completely revolutionised the way machinery was transported up and down the country and the way that things were then made.

So that's key to this novel because that's the period the novel takes place in.

So that's the context.

But what we'll see is how that was really maximised in one particular scene, which we're going to look at.

We then got the idea of Steampunk.

So Steampunk is a sub-genre of the science fiction genre.

So you might be familiar with science fiction.

It's a genre of books or films or novels, but Steampunk is like a new part of that.

In the Steampunk world where it's very aware of its fashion and its design aesthetic.

So fashion in Steampunk combines a Victorian style of dress with industrial inspired clothing.

So you get things like leather boots, goggles but then Victorian style clothes.

And there are big fans of Steampunk around the world and they often dress up in elaborate costumes.

They attend Steampunk conventions.

This is something which if you were interested in, or you wanted to know more, if you looked it up online you would find lots of images, which explained and showed you visually what we mean by this concept.

So this information, whereas it might seem unrelated to theatre and to the story, it's the key context for this concept of Frankenstein in this production.

So it's really important when we study a production that we understand the background to it and that we understand the director's concept.

So that's what we've spent some time doing.

So we're going to watch this scene from Frankenstein where the Monster sees a steam train for the first time.

And I hope what you'll see is everything that we've talked about so far is now going to come together.

As we watch the clip.

I want you to focus on these two things here and then I've got some questions for you as well.

So focus on how the scene is shown from the perspective of the Monster.

If you remember that's something that we've said was part of the concept for this production.

Focus as well on how you can see the Industrial Revolution and the Steampunk aesthetic being used in this scene from what we've just learned about those two things.

So if you want to pause here and make a note of those two points to look out for, that's fine.

And then when you're ready we'll move on and we'll look at the extract.


So you can see already, this is a very, very exciting clip.

And I've got three questions here for you, which I would like you to answer as we watch.

So how does the steam train get on stage? Do you know the answer to that? Can you tell how it gets on the stage? How are the special effects created that you see on stage? And then can you think about what your initial response to watching this scene is.

Your initial response is completely personal.

That's just up to you.

It's your feeling after watching the scene, but try and note down some responses.

So three questions there for you to think about.

Let's have a look at this clip.

Okay, so it's a very exciting clip, isn't it? There's a lot going on.

Because it's quite short, we're going to watch it one more time and I just want you to focus again on what we said we were going to look for which was how you think that scene is shown from the perspective of the Monster.

So now, you know, the Monster is the character in the red cloak.

What's he seeing through his eyes? Look at, again, how you can see elements of the Industrial Revolution and what we understand about the Steampunk style.

So look at the costumes, anything there that you recognise that reminds you of the Industrial Revolution period, anything that's related to industry or anything that's related to the Victorian period.

And then again, focusing on these three questions we've got here on the screen.

So watch that one more time and just start to expand on the notes that you made the first time around.

Okay, great.

So we've watched it through twice and I hope you really enjoyed it.

And you've got lots of notes.

These were the three questions that I posed you initially.

So let's take a look at these questions.

So I asked you how the steam train gets on stage.

So you may have noticed that there were two parallel tracks along the stage, and it seemed to travel down those tracks.

So the steam train was on tracks and that's called automation.

So that's a relatively new way of getting very large, very heavy piece of sets and scenery onto stage.

So it's almost like a system of rollers but it's operated by a stage group off stage and that's called automation.

How are the special effects created? Hopefully you recognise this from our keyword at the start of the lesson.

And that was pyrotechnics.

Finally, what was your initial response? So this question is completely subjective.

You need a response to live theatre because it's how you, the audience member, were affected and what you thought and what you felt.

Obviously the answer is whatever you've written down but you may have found it intense, overwhelming, surprising, perhaps breathtaking.

I think I felt just gobsmacked the first time I saw that scene.

So your response is whatever you felt, but there are perhaps some ideas which symbolise how you felt about the scene.

All right, then.

So we're going to break the scene down now into more specific detail using our skills again of described and analyse.

So I'd like you to pause here and focus on these three headings the sound, the pyrotechnics, and the costume.

What I would like you to do is consider these three elements at the scene.

And I would like you to make notes on exactly what you saw and heard.

So you can do this from memory, but if you need to, you can go back and watch the clip another time.

But I would like you to describe in as much detail what you could hear in terms of the sound effects, what you could see in terms of the pyrotechnics and how they were used and what you could see in terms of the costumes.

So pause here for as long as you need to complete your notes.

And then when you're done we'll review what you might've written down.


So here is some notes which you might've made.

So I thought the sound obviously it was very loud and it was very discordant.

That means lots of clashing notes that don't go together.

When the train answers, we hear some electronic music which is combined with lots of cluttering and whistling sounds.

The actors are also sort of shouting through loudspeakers or loudhailer type devices to call through.

And that was creating what I would call a cacophony.

So that's a lot of loud overlapping sound and it was very incomprehensible.

So you couldn't always tell what they were saying.

And the notes were very clashing and discorded so that's my description of the sound.

Then we have the pyrotechnics.

So there were bright sparks flying out to the front side of the train.

I don't think you could have missed that.

And that looked like brakes.

It's to create the effect of the brakes.

Creating sparks.

And there was fire coming out of the back of the train.

There was also theatrical haze which is like water vapour smoke.

Used to create the steam of the train.

So we had the pyrotechnics that's sparks, the fire and the haze.

Then we have the costumes.

So the actors were all wearing different colours of brown and grey.

So brown-colored costumes.

Quite a lots of 19th century style, so wool trousers, waistcoats, cotton shirts but then they had leather boots and they had Steampunk inspired goggles.

What I also noticed was that the costume was uniform.

That means everybody was wearing the same.

So they were all dressed in the same theme of clothing.

So if your notes are similar to this, that's fantastic.

If you want to pause here and add any details to your notes you can do, and then we will resume when you're ready.


So we've now got the description of these three elements and what we need to add to that is some analysis.


So try now to analyse the elements of the scene.

So pause again, and think about the three factors that you just wrote notes about.

The sound, the pyrotechnics and the costume, whatever you've described.

I would like you to now try and analyse those decisions.

What did those things show? What effect did they create? As a clue try to think back to the themes of the novel that we've established at the start, such as knowledge and discovery.

Also remember about the perspective of the story being told from the Monster.

So we are looking at the steam train through the Monster's eyes, from the Monster's perspective.

How can we analyse the features of a scene from that perspective? So pause here, make some analytical notes and then when you're ready, we'll review your ideas.

Okay, great.

So here are my notes which I thought I could add to my description.

So this is my analysis.

So I thought the sound could represent what the Monster could hear.

So it was quite overwhelming.

It was very jumbled.

It was a bit incomprehensible at times.

And I thought that would reflect how he doesn't really understand what he's hearing.

There's also a combination of machinery sound effects and human sounds.

So we have whistling, we have screeching the breaks.

We have the wailing sounds, but all that was jumbled up to create this overwhelming soundscapes and this overwhelming effects.

And for me, that was very much tied in with the Monster seeing the steam train for the first time and just not knowing what this is.

And if you think about it, trains are very loud.

Aren't they? A bit overwhelming if you wouldn't know what one was.

So I think that was key to the analysis of the sound.

In a very similar way the pyrotechnics are used to show how overwhelming, frightening and intense the scene is for the Monster to experience.

The sparks and the fire and the steam all represent the innovation and the progress of the Industrial Revolution.

So they are also there to represent the theme of knowledge and discovery.

And that's how I interpreted the use of pyrotechnics there.

And then the costumes.

So again, quite similarly, the costumes represent the Industrial Revolution and they represent society as well.

So the feature of the costumes, all being of the same colour, style and representing a uniform.

They grouped that cast of characters together as one unit.

And then that highlights how different the Monster is.

So this is what we call an othering effect.

It makes the monster appear other.

He appears separate and apart to the group that come on to stage.

So I think that was really significant in terms of the costumes.

So what I'm doing here is analysing quite a lot of depth, really thinking about the concept of this production.

Really thinking about the directorial ideas that aims and think into the themes and how I know this story was being put across on stage.

So if your notes are similar to this, that's fantastic.

If you want to pause and add anything to your notes here, then you can do, and then we can resume when you're ready.


So last major task is to write a theatre review and we're going to consolidate our learning from today in the review about this extract.

So this requires a bit of imagination from you which is easy because you're drama students.

So imagine you are writing for an online blog and you are reviewing this production.

I'd like you to pick out this scene to sell this production to your readers.

That's not difficult, 'cause it's a really amazing scene.

So use all of your skills in describing, analysing and evaluating, that you've developed over this unit.

And don't forget to refer to the themes and concepts that we learned about.

So I hope what you've done is built up notes throughout this lesson.

And then we can put those together now in a structure for a theatre review.

And to help you along with that I've got some sentence starters because I would like you to talk like a theatre critic.

So in the bubbles and the boxes here you can see some phrases which might be useful for you to develop your critical response.

So to develop your evaluation of this scene.

Pause here if you want to make a note of these sentence starters or these sentence stems and then they will help you structure your review in a really nice, critical way.

And now it's time to complete your tasks.

So in terms of structure, try to write an introduction.

Two to three paragraphs about the different elements of the scene, and then a short conclusion where you gave an overall summary.

And if you really want to you could then give it a star rating, a title headline, a tagline.

You can go to town on that as well.

We've done lots of writing already in this unit.

So this should be familiar to you.

Remember that we always try to give as much detail as possible.

We try to give examples and we always make sure we are describing, analysing and evaluating.

So pause here for as long as you to, to complete your theatre review task.

And then when you're ready we're just going to review your learning.


So, reviewing your learning now.

I've got a checklist for you and this relates to some of the success criteria for this task.

So what I'd like you to do is go back through with the piece of work that you've just produced.

It's always a brilliant idea for your progress to always read back through what you've done, see what you're pleased with, what were the strengths and what could you do better next time.

So read through these questions, pause and answer each question for your piece of writing.

You might want to annotate on your piece of work, to either tick, or give yourself a target or to add something in.

If you were not sure you could answer this question.

Pause here until you've completed the checklist.

And then we'll just finish our lesson with a tick and a target.


So in a different coloured pen if you want to add anything now to your theatre review, if there's anything overall that you can improve, you could do that.

And then based on your answers to the checklist you've just been through, give yourself a tick and a target.

So you're answering the questions.

What did you do well? Let's celebrate your strengths and what went really well in this piece of work.

And then what could you do better next time? So what would be missing? What would you add in to improve this piece of work? So a tick and a target for your theatre review on Frankenstein.

And then that will take you to the end of this lesson.

So well done.

Some great work.

We've analysed a really tricky and complex piece of theatre there.

So you've done some really great work and I hope you've enjoyed developing your skills in evaluating stagecraft.

This is our final lesson.

If you want to, what you can do now is share your work with Twitter.

So you can tag @OakNational with the help of parents or carer and you can put #LearnwithOak.

So thank you very much for your work today.

Well done on this unit and take care.