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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 Women Learn Their Lines

Intention: This will be played in an empty space; there’s no necessity for any particular set. The only major concern is that for the following scene the bed needs to be placed on stage, so by having a few boxes there will be less time spent on scene changing. This can be tried in rehearsal.

Performance Outcome

The Women learn their linesWe worked on the scene up until Ketch enters. Again we used the role swapping technique in order for the Amy and Katie to see alternative ways of playing Mary and Dabby. Out of this came a sense of Dabby’s bullying of Mary as a result of her own powerful survival instincts. Dabby was less defending her actions than pointing out how she had helped Mary, saved her from a worse fate. So the scene emphasised the individualism of the convicts and their survival instincts, while reminding the audience of the hell of the voyage over. This is compounded when Liz enters – she tries to pass off her inability to read so that she can be involved and get out of work. Yet she is also aware of this as a weakness and when Dabby pokes fun she responds with violence. We discovered Mary’s role as peace maker here, but one forged through fear: she can’t stop Liz so she placates, which causes Dabby to be just as aggressive.

Yet, from this, we know that regardless of their divisions they are united when it comes to the hangman. Thus, when Ketch enters, the women instantly unite against him. When we look at the end of the scene this is what we shall work upon.

The staging of this scene is important in that it introduces the convention of the same stage layout for each scene to do with the performing of the play. It’s a great scene for establishing the differences between the female characters. Amy, Katie and Leasa successfully demonstrate the differences between Mary, Dabby and Liz. There’s also a good little scrap between Leasa and Katie. Having tried to choreograph a proper fight, and not really getting anywhere, it ended up being much more effective to allow them to just fly at each other and grab hold of what they could, then be quickly interrupted by Ketch coming on stage. I also like the way the women are particularly hostile towards Ketch and spit at his feet at every opportunity.


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