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The Eight Moon Journey

Scene By Scene

Act One

Act Two

The Voyage Out
A Lone Aboriginal Australian
Loneliness of Men
An Audition
The Authorities Discuss the Merits of the Theatre
Harry and Duckling Go Rowing
The Women Learn Their Lines
Ralph Clark Tries to Kiss His Dear Wife’s Picture
John Wisehammer and Mary Brenham Exchange Words
The First Rehearsal

Visiting Hours
His Excellency Exhorts Ralph
Harry Brewer Sees the Dead
The Aborigine Muses on the Nature of Dreams
The Second Rehearsal
The Science of Hanging
The Meaning of Plays
Duckling Makes Vows/A Love Scene
The Question of Liz

An Audition

Intention: There is some obvious humour in this scene as well as a chance to introduce the convict characters and future problems. The stage will be empty except for maybe a crate for convicts to sit on. Until the cast is in place and I know exactly who plays what I am intending to cast a man as Meg Long – this is a slight V-Effekt, man playing woman, also suggesting the degradation of the woman has removed her femininity.

Performance Outcome

This is the first time we see some of the convicts that will act in ‘The Recruiting Officer’. They also have a journey and it is also important that they aren’t seen as too sympathetic to begin with. As such I gave my actors a copy of the Hogarth painting ‘Gin Lane’. Obviously this an exaggerated depiction of the lower classes in Eighteenth Century England, however I asked them to consider what aspects of this exaggeration had some basis in reality. I also pointed out that this exaggeration could be exactly how Ralph would see the convicts and their background. I then asked them to imagine their character in that street scene and create a pose. I then told them that on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ‘very normal’ and 10 being ‘extremely exaggerated and grotesque’, their pose was at number 5. I then asked them to find points to exaggerate as I moved them up through 7 to 10. I then asked them to find the point between 5 and 10 that was comfortable or interesting which they could then take into the scene.

This scene is quick moving, not really giving Ralph much time for thought as he is bombarded by these people that he views as degenerate convicts. As such we explored the idea of the convicts invading his space and his desire to keep them away from him and wanting to avoid any contact.

A successful scene, the fast paced movement of the actors, a connection with the humour of the scene, plus a few cheap gags works well to lighten the atmosphere. The biggest problem of the scene is Sideway’s picking of Ralph’s pocket. We have decided that the audience will see Sideway pick Ralph’s pocket, which means Craig has to actually pick Matt’s pocket. The first night saw the handkerchief stuck in Matt’s pocket and it didn’t look much like Sideway was a master of his trade! It has got better since however.


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