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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


Intention: An empty stage using intense light and sound effects to suggest the location. The officers are in one group with Harry Brewer nearby. There is the issue of getting the actor playing the Aborigine into the scene as Watkin Tench, quickly and with minimal hold up. By not hiding the workings of the show the audience will accept more readily the necessary change, there will also be the music to help the transition. The scene is a discussion of the punishment of prisoners. Their appreciation of the local wildlife is juxtaposed against their casual slaughter of the same creatures. Projections will be important here as I may use some quite disturbing images to correspond with what is being said. There are clear Gests being represented in the scene and I will need to work with the actors in demonstrating them.

Performance Outcome
10/09/06 The key comment made during the first rehearsal of this scene was by an actor who noted that the scene was more like a debate than a dramatic scene. This is key to our staging. I have placed Phillip on one side of the stage and Captain Tench on the other to indicate their opposing view points. In the middle I have placed Collins as he is not concerned in expressing an opinion as ensuring the letter of the law be applied, indicating a detachment from personal feelings. This matter-of-fact discussion is in contrast to the men’s genuine interest in the wildlife they see. Thus I have tried to have a clear change between the emotionless discussion and the flashes of emotion that the men experience when seeing the wildlife around them. There is also an opportunity to indicate the hierarchical positioning of the characters. When Phillip requests the gun Harry, who has been at the back, out of the way, steps forward and takes the gun from Captain Tench, cleans it, and then hands it to Phillip. There is a slightly static feel to the scene which I am hoping will be eased when the actors know lines and can give the scene pace and energy.

The starkness of this scene gives it its strength, the actors’ positions clearly showing their position in the discussion. The first few performances have seen the actors wobble a little bit with lines; probably down to the fact they don’t engage with each other in the scene therefore cueing is difficult. Yet the overall effect is pleasing.


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