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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

The Loneliness of Men

Intention: This scene introduces the audience to Ralph Clark. He should not be the most sympathetic of characters in this scene – damning of the convicts and the conditions and obviously ambitious. He is also quite dismissive of Harry until he sees how Harry can be of use. The set will be a bed made of the crates covered with a blanket and a small table and lamp or candle.

Performance Outcome

As we are using the whole stage to represent Ralph’s tent, there is plenty of room for this scene. The important element of the opening that we are working upon is trying to get a sense of Ralph’s building frustration – at his commission, at his lack of career prospects, at his separation from his wife and the growing sexual frustration that ensues – thus he is a prowling figure, torn between thoughts of his wife and home and thoughts of his predicament.

When Harry enters we have taken the idea of the loneliness of the title into the staging. Brendan, playing Harry, felt very much that he had come into the tent to simply speak his thoughts, seeing Ralph as a religious man and a friend, but not a genuine friend but more of necessity. Matt, playing Ralph, also felt that Ralph wouldn’t see Harry as a true friend but more another aspect of their incarceration – being thrown with people he doesn’t want to be with. Both see Harry’s presence as a somewhat uncomfortable, unwanted intrusion. Thus for almost the entirety of the scene they do not connect. We experimented with different ways of having the characters on stage, together, but speaking separately. Harry stand for the whole scene at the downstage right corner of the stage, while Ralph sits with his back to Harry. Ralph moves around the stage, mostly with his back to Harry, but on occasion looking at him. Ralph is uncomfortable with Harry’s confessions and doesn’t want to be involved with him, but sees the advantage he can gain from having Harry recommend he produce the proposed play. Only when he wants this of Harry, at the end of the scene, does he try to connect directly and touch Harry, but then quickly breaks this off. This is the first scene we really see Ralph and Matt and I are keen to not portray him as too likeable to begin with. He has a definite journey and so his starting point is that of an ambitious, slightly conceited man who is definitely intolerant of his inferiors.

I am particularly pleased with the staging of the scenes in Ralph’s tent. The space we have is small and presents problems and these are the scenes that make best use of the space. I like the uncomfortable atmosphere created by Ralph and Harry’s lack of connection in the scene. It connects to the titles of the scene and plays out in an interesting way. It isn’t theatrical however; the fact that Harry doesn’t look at Ralph at all - but I think it works as a whole.


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