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Hello everyone, I'm Mrs. Bradley.

Welcome back to drama and to your third lesson in the scheme of work becoming a critic.

If you're ready, we'll get started with today's work.

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

So let's have a look at what we're doing today.

You should have done the intro quiz already and that will have recapped some of your knowledge.

We're then going to look at the prior learning from last week just to double check that we've remembered the key skills that we're going to use.

We'll then look at another extract from a play and we will be analysing the features we see in that extract.

And then moving on to developing an evaluative response today, so just moving on and progressing to look at what an evaluation is.

That will take us to the end of the lesson and there'll be an exit quiz just to check your learning from today.

Our key words for today.

The first one is evaluation as I've just mentioned and what that means is coming to a judgement about the success of something.

So we're going to be evaluating the clip of live theatre that we'll watch today.

The key word to use in your description today is levels, which is a word that I'm sure you are familiar with in drama.

So we use levels to describe the different heights used on stage by actors mainly.

So we describe the levels of the actors.

And connotation is going to be a key word today.

So the connotation is the meaning behind something, so we can connote meaning and that will be quite important today as well.

So far in this unit, we've been mainly focusing on describing and analysing.

So we've described and analysed the use of lighting and sound in a live theatre production.

So describe, don't forget, means to give an accurate account of something and analyse means to examine something in detail, looking at the reasons why and explaining why choices have been made.

So today to move on, our focus is going to be on set design today, not lighting or sound.

And we're going to be looking at developing a more of an evaluative response to the piece of theatre that we're going to watch.

So what is an evaluation? I've said this already in the keywords but just to give you a really clear definition, an evaluation is coming to a judgement and it's about judging the overall success of something after we've weighed up the merits.

So we might look at the pros and cons of something and then evaluate it.

But when talking about live theatre in our drama lessons, we do this using positive rather than critical language.

So we're absolutely not here to pull a piece of theatre apart.

We're here to evaluate the merits and we're here to evaluate positively the success of something.

Because this lesson is about set design, we're going to need some set design terminology.

So I've put a pause point here because I'm going to look at four pieces of set design terminology with you and as I explain them, I'd like you to be writing down the definitions.

So there's two here on the screen.

You can see trapdoor and fly system.

You may be familiar with some of this terminology but it may be brand new to you so let's have a look and as we go through, I would like you to write these down.

So a trapdoor, it's exactly what it sounds like.

It is an opening in the floor of the stage.

So actors can enter or exit through a trapdoor if they need to disappear or appear quickly and trapdoors are also used for items of set to come on and off.

So an example would be in a pantomime, sometimes villains appear or disappear through a trapdoor.

Sometimes if it was a production where something magical was happening, say a genie coming out of a lamp, they might magically appear through a trapdoor.

It's if you want the entrance to be quick, or to look like it's magic.

So trapdoors, you will often find them in theatre stages and they are a feature of the set design.

A fly system is used to operate scenery which comes in from the ceiling above the theatre.

So you may have been at the theatre and you may have seen something flown in from the ceiling, either a piece of set, it could be a backdrop, it could be an item of staging, or sometimes it can be a person, so people can be flown in as well.

If you think about a production of say, "Peter Pan" or "Mary Poppins" where a character needs to literally fly, then they are often flown in on cables.

So the way a fly system works is often there's this series of cables and a member of the stage crew at the side would be operating the cables to fly the scenery or the person into the stage.

So anything which comes from the ceiling is often operated on a fly system.

So pause here until you've just made your note of these terminology words and their definitions and then when you're ready, we'll just look at two more.

Brilliant, so looking now at an in the round stage and looking at levels.

So, an in the round stage is a type of stage formation and there are lots of different ways of putting a stage together.

In an in the round stage, the actors on set are in the middle and the audience surround the stage on all sides.

Sometimes it's a circular stage, which could be why it's called in the round but sometimes the stage could be square or rectangle and the audience are on four sides.

But what's important is that in this stage formation, the audience are all around the stage.

And then we've got levels and we've talked about this before but it's a key word of set design as well because it describes the height at which actors are or the set design is placed and that can be for dramatic effect or to connote meaning.

So again, just pause here if you need to just finish writing down your definitions of these set design terminology words and then we will carry on.

So I mentioned at the start that we'll been looking at connotations today and a connotation is the meaning or association that we make between things and something that we can connote is the meaning of colours.

So colours have connotations.

That means the colours around us that we see everyday, we make connections with them and we make associations with them.

So just have a little think, what connotations might the colours green, blue, and red have? So they're obviously colours that we see everyday in nature as well as in the lives around us and what associations do we make with those colours? Just pause here and spend a few minutes thinking about this, make a few notes of what you connote from those colour words, then we'll just compare our answers.

Great, so how do these compare to your answers? What I've thought about is that green has a few different meanings to me.

The connotations of green range from being about nature, so therefore it's very fresh, I think of grass, I think of trees, I think about spring and new life, but there is a side of green that also represents jealousy and envy because we talk about people perhaps being green with envy, which is a metaphor, but there is an association between that colour and that emotion.

The colour blue to me again has lots of different meanings.

I think about sea, I think about sky, calmness, therefore I think about nature, I think about peace and therefore that's quite positive but we talk about people feeling blue and therefore there's a connotation of sadness and loneliness with the colour blue as well.

So that has lots of different connotations.

And finally red is a very symbolic colour, isn't it? And we associate red with love and passion and lust.

So we see the colour of red at Valentine's Day, don't we? Also it's associated with danger, and fire, and anger, and also blood and hate.

So the colour red has a lot of different connotations.

And connotations are really important in theatre because we design costumes to be certain colours which have meaning.

We design set to be certain colours and we will design lighting to be in certain colours and all of those colour choices have got connotations.

So if we're aware of that, as students studying drama and live theatre, we're able to analyse the colour connotations as well.

So if you want to spend a minute here, just adding these notes to your notes that's absolutely fine but if you're ready then we'll just move on.

So the extracts of theatre we're going to watch today is from the play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

So this is a play which I'm sure you may be familiar with.

It's written by William Shakespeare in 1600 and the play is about meddling fairies and lovers.

So it's a comedy and it's mostly set in an enchanted forest, which is the home of the fairies and the fairy king and queen called Oberon and Titania.

The fairy queen, Titania, has asked her servant, who is the mischievous Puck character to put a love potion in the eyes of a young man to make him fall in love with a young woman who likes him.

But what's happened is, Puck, has put the love potion in the wrong person's eyes.

So in this scene that we're about to watch, Titania is telling him off.

So she's shouting at him, she's saying, "What have you done?" Because he's done it wrong.

So it's quite a comic scene from this comic play and the scene we're going to watch features the characters of Titania who is the fairy queen and Puck who is the servant.

If you know this play, I will just mention that in this particular production, they swapped the lines, so from Oberon to Titania, so in this production or in this play normally, Oberon is the one who says these lines and has Puck as his servant but they switched the characters who say those lines, just to give you a bit of context if you are familiar with the play already.

So let's take a look at the extract.

So here is the clip from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and we're going to watch this three times.

So the first time we watch, I don't want you to write anything, I just want you to enjoy it and to just take everything in that the clip has to offer.

And the second, third times are for you to make notes.

So what we're looking at is the set design, the use of colour, anything that you notice in terms of colour connotations, and then try to look at the different ways the set is used by the performers in this extract.

So here's a little look at for the first time.

What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite and laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight.



About the wood go swifter than the wind and Helena of Athens look thou find.

No! All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer with sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear.

By some illusion see thou bring her here, I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.

I go.

I go.

Look how I go.

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.

Okay, so brilliant.

Let's watch that again and now you're specifically looking for the use of set and the use of the colour.

What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite and laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight.



About the wood go swifter than the wind and Helena of Athens look thou find.

No! All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer with sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear.

By some illusion see thou bring her here, I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.

I go.

I go.

Look how I go.

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.

Great, and for the final time, you're maybe going to need to look in a bit more detail about how exactly those things were done which we've just seen and just try to take in all the different aspects of the colour in the clip as well.

So one final time now for your notes.

What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite and laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight.



About the wood go swifter than the wind and Helena of Athens look thou find.

No! All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer with sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear.

By some illusion see thou bring her here, I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.

I go.

I go.

Look how I go.

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.


Okay well done.

So hopefully you've got some good notes there.

Let's now have a look at your notes and then later we'll be turning them into some analysis as well.

Brilliant, so I hope you enjoyed that's a really, really funny clip and it's brilliantly done.

So I'd like you to think about what you noticed.

What set design elements did you see and how were they used? What colour connotations did you notice? And what was the effect of this use of colour? So you'll have your notes and here are some things that I noticed as well.

So first of all, it was an in the round stage.

In the scene we saw the audience were all around the stage, weren't they? And so they were surrounding the stage on all sides, making it an in the round.

So I also noticed that Titania, I'm sure you noticed this, is on a swing.

So that is a fly system.

So she's suspended from the ceiling effectively and what that does is it also changes the levels.

So it puts her on a very high level and she's clearly a lot more high status than the character of Puck.

Another brilliant part of the extract is when Puck exits, he exits through a trapdoor, doesn't he? So he goes into the floor of the stage, so there is a trapdoor being used there.

In terms of the colour, I noticed that green is the predominant colour in this.

So there was green costumes, there was green sets, and there was also some green lighting.

So green was a colour which had some really interesting connotations here.

If you need to pause and just write down these things and add to your notes then that's fine.

If you don't, then we'll just move on and we'll start to build on this work.

All right then, so let's analyse these features that we've noticed.

I've drawn a table here and you can use this table or you can bullet point your answers.

So you can either sketch out and draw a table which looks like this, or just write down the things that you can see on the screen and just do some bullet pointing.

I would like you to think about why the creative choices were made for this scene.

So let's make some notes on what you think the effect of these things is, trying to go into depth with your analysis.

So on the left in the purple you can see I've just repeated again, what I noticed in terms of the staging and use of colour in the scene.

So the staging was in the round, that's the description, that's a fact, but why was that done? And what was the effect of that? And this is drawing on the analytical skills we've been building on in both lessons so far.

We've done this a couple of times already.

Titania being on the fly system on the swing, why was that done and what was the effect of that? What was the effect of Puck exiting through the trapdoor? What was the experience of that like for the audience? How did you respond? What did it make you think or feel? And then why do you think the green was used so much? What was the connotation of the colour green? So I've asked you lots of questions there.

It's time for you now to pause here and see if you can get down some notes which analyse the choices made in the scene.

When you've had a go, we'll share some answers and then we'll see how you've got on.

Just pause here then to complete your task, take as long as you need, try to use all your terminology today when you are describing and don't forget to analyse in as much detail as you can, drawing on these ideas of thinking about the effects and the choices made.

All right, I've shared some answers here with you that you might've written down.

Don't forget with analysis, it's always subjective.

So your analysis might be different to my analysis because that's your opinion, and I might've interpreted it differently and that's absolutely fine.

However, here are just some ideas that you may have got down or maybe useful to you.

So in the round staging, I analysed that to mean, it gave a more intimate feel to the scene, and what it did for me was, it made the audience feel as if they were in the forest and they were part of the play.

So it makes the whole experience more intimate and more engaging for the audience.

The fact of Titania was sat on the swing, for me, the use of levels here made her a lot higher status and it made her seem like she was very different to the other characters.

It helps the actor be able to look down on the character of Puck, literally, and then also metaphorically.

So it reminded us that she was a queen and she was this fairy character.

So maybe it made us think she can actually fly and she was very different to the other characters on the stage.

So I thought that was a really useful use of set design in communicating some meaning.

So Puck exiting through the stage trapdoor was a really clever device.

It really added to the magic of the scene, didn't it? So it really reminded us, again, he was a fairy, he was magical.

It created a really surprising and entertaining moment for the audience.

I didn't know that was going to happen so I didn't see that coming and it was a shock and it was a surprise.

So that creates a really delightful moment of theatre and it just adds to the magic of the play.

And then finally the colour green.

So green here is what we would call the motif because it's repeated.

So it's in the lighting, the costume, and the set.

This helped to remind us we are set in a forest.

So it created that location for us.

It's got connotations of nature, trees, plants.

The green lighting, when it appeared on Puck's face, made it look like he was in the shadow of the trees and that was really effective.

But then we also had the kind of emerald shade of green in Titania's costume and I thought that was really effective at making her, again, look more high status.

The dress looked quite thick and sumptuous and satiny, and it had jewels on it as well and some purple but that green rich colour made her see more high status and magical to me.

So they are some analytical comments about the choices made in that scene.

So if you want to pause again here and just add to your notes from what I've written then feel free.

If you are ready, then we will move on.

So the big question to ask ourselves moving towards evaluating now, is what's the overall effect if we look all of these features together? And this brings us to an evaluation.

So overall, what was successful about the scene? What effect was created by the combination of set lighting and colour? Overall, how successful would you say the scene was at creating a magical and mysterious atmosphere on stage? And if you were to conclude your thoughts, what was your personal response to the scene? So I would like you to pause here and really think about these questions.

I've put in bold what I would think the really key words are about the scene being successful, thinking about the effect, the atmosphere, and your personal response.

So pause here and write down your answers to these questions and then when you've done that, we'll just move on.

Brilliant, so what you've done now is you've described, and you've analysed, and you've evaluated.

And now we're going to put that all together in a theatre review.

So we're going to pretend we are theatre reviewers, we have seen this production and we are writing a review.

So theatre reviews appear in the news, they appear in newspapers, they appear online, and what they do is they evaluate the performance so an audience can know if they should go and see it.

So I would read a theatre review and then make my decision if I'm going to see that play or not.

So I want you to put your ideas together in a review and I've done an example for you here.

Just look at this example and look at how I've color-coded it.

So I've started my paragraph with what I call a context sentence.

And a context sentence is really key because it explains to the reader what I'm talking about and who produced this production.

So this production was produced by The Bridge Theatre and then filmed by The National Theatre.

And it was produced in 2019, directed by Nicholas Hytner.

They are some useful facts that if you want to, you could include in your context sentence.

I've then moved on in the turquoise colour to the description.

And what I've focused on there, is a description of the stage being in the round.

In the navy blue, I've then analysed that, and I've said how that made it more intimate.

The larger section of my paragraph then in the green is the evaluation, and that's me summarising and concluding my judgement of the scene and I've done that in really positive language.

I've talked about it being a really successful design choice but I've also got into detail and I've explained why I think that.

It's not a good idea to end the sentence on, "This was a good idea, or this was successful, or this worked," or avoiding, "This was good." So what we want to do is be as detailed as possible in our description, in our analysis, and in our evaluation.

If you want to pause here and just write down the key features of this paragraph, that's fine.

And then I want you to move on and have a go at this yourselves.

So the task now is to write your theatre review.

I did my paragraph on the theatre in the round.

What I would like you to do is look at all the elements that we looked at in the lesson; the fly system, the trapdoor, and the use of the colour green.

So that might mean you mention three different paragraphs, you write three different paragraphs.

Remember to describe, analyse, and evaluate.

And if you need to go back and look at the model paragraph that's absolutely fine as well.

Take as long as you need to complete this extended writing task and then we'll resume when you're ready.

Well done, so you've made great progress in this unit because we started off just making some notes, then we moved on to writing a paragraph, and now we've probably written two or three paragraphs in an extended piece of writing as a theatre review.

So you've really built up your terminology, your knowledge of theatre, how to analyse, how to evaluate, and most importantly, you've seen some great examples of live there.

So brilliant work in this unit.

If you want to you can share you work from today, tagging @OakNational with the help of a parent or carer, and you can #LearnwithOak.

Brilliant work and I'll see you soon.

Thank you.