Cloudstreet Dramaturge/designer Report
The dramaturge explores the inner and outer world of the play and how the use of Design can be appropriate to the plays context and accurately portray the playwright’s intention while still conforming to the conventions and practices of the period. Location: Mainly Nedlands Western Australia (no. 1 Cloudstreet) but also rural WA, Margaret River and Geraldton. Time: 1943-1963
Social Conditions: Final two years of World War Two, The Korean War and the Vietnam War, the Eric Edgar Cook Murders and the Assassination of John F Kennedy. There was a great fear of socialism and communism and still social tension towards immigrants. Political Climate: Prime Minister ship of Robert Menzies a time of little reform and a conservative stable government. Tension and Hostility was experienced in the later years as young men were conscripted in The Vietnam War. Economical Conditions: Post War Economy many welfare and social reforms to support the working class and banks were not nationalized. Australia had emerged as its own independent nation and modernized nation and economy after WW2. Many immigrants worked on government schemes such as the snowy mountains project and unemployment was quite low. Cultural Background and Information: the Background of the stolen generation of the girls who were removed from their families and sent to live at the house with the Widow. This explores the aboriginal notion of belonging and how life becomes connected to the land and the places where memories and emotions are strong. The struggles of working class Australian families are explored particularly in terms of class and economical struggles during the post WW2 period.
Playwrights intention: the novel and in extension the play is representative of the sense of nostalgia Tim Winton felt for the post war Period up to the Vietnam War. Winton saw it as a time where family values and the way of life was more wholesome and therefore carries a strong message That family and belonging is important and with family comes a sense of identity. Setting, Time, Period: The play was adapted by Nick Enright from the novel of the same name which was written in 1990 by Tim Winton. Characters:
Styles Theoretical Approaches: The style of the play is contemporary realism with elements of Magic realism. The acting style is both presentational and representational. When the play is drawing on the realistic styles the Actors movements are realistic and unexaggerated but when this is broken and the elements of magic realism is introduced the actors or the set is sometimes stylized. Dramatic Structure: the play chronicles the life of two families over 20 years and is told from the perspective of a third person omniscient and can be seen as being told by in “the seconds it takes to die” of fish lamb and could be Spiritually omniscient, giving voice the social issues and minorities discussed in the play. Therefore as the play opens with Fish’s brush with death and his returning to death is circular. Language and use of subtext: Australian colloquial language during the post WW2 era, helps strengthen the sense of how the play is Australian and its characters and their struggles are those of everyday average Australian families. This familiarity evoked in the audience aids the sympathy/empathy and strengthens the connection of the audience to the characters and their hardships. This feeling of connection is sometimes broken by the characters breaking from the representational style to deliver a presentational monologue and is often delivered in the third person so as to break the illusion of real life and emphasize the important themes or issues that are occurring. The language of the play is very poetic and romanticizes Australia and its scenery. Dramatic tensions is evoked through the use of language and how the characters interact with each other but as the play progresses and the characters are...
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