Research of Love and Information: Themes

Whilst reading the script of ‘Love and Information,’ I have been able to identify the themes of the play. Some of the themes may seem little, such as politics to communication. The first theme I am going to talk about, is that of love.

Love

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A lot of the play is to do with relationships, not only between lovers but between family and friends. It is about the way we express that love. It is trying to show love not only in the traditional way of marriage and reproducing, but showing how we protect the ones we care for. It also goes in the other way, in sense of some people may go out of their way to damage that person so they won’t be with anybody else.

Information

This play is morally based on the way information is passed and received and how people react to that information. It can be done from face to face interaction to over social media. Also, it shows how people with learning difficulties or mental illness interact with others.

Terrorism

One of the minor themes in the performance is terrorism. It is stating that to get what the terrorists want is to induce terror into people’s lives. However during the scene that this is indicated in, the person in question states that this is not the message that she wants to give. The scene which contains terrorism begins by attempting to explain the reasoning behind terrorism, and the way in which people can use acts of terrorism, as a way of trying to get across a message of oppression that will not be tolerated further. Contained within this scene is also a subtle reminder that just because a person agrees with the idea behind terrorism. This does not necessarily mean that they would commit terrorist acts themselves.

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Secrets:

Secret is a moderate theme that runs consistently throughout a number of scenes. An example of this is in Mother, as the secret there is the sisters are actually mother and daughter. A secret creates a bond between a number of people that cannot be broken until an act of betrayal is done: unearthing that secret.

Deceit:

In the scenes of grass and fired, deceit is used as a premise for the scene as you don’t see the deceit, however it is implied. For example in grass, the deceit is that one partner has gone behind there lover’s back and being deceitful by reporting his friend to the police. But in fired, it is where the manager has fired the employee without their knowledge. Deceit is:

the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth

Anger:

Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. We see this in a number of scenes, one in particular is remote, where a teacher is running away with a student and the teacher gets agitated by the fact the student has no signal on her phone, no radio signal etc.

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Violence:

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Violence has two meanings but leading to the same conclusion. The first being, behaviour that is involving physical force that is intended to hurt, damage or kill something/someone. The second meaning is strength of emotion that could lead to destructive natural force.

We see this in dinner, as the female partner forgets about a dinner date that is set up for the couple. This leads to the male being forceful on the woman and physically and emotionally harming her.

Illness:

An illness is a disease or a period of sickness that involves the body or mind. We see different illnesses in a number of scenes. One of the scenes that stick out to me is recluse. The character clearly suffers from a mental illness which, to a point, the character can tell. It affects the character’s ability to interact with the human race and to think rationally. Also, during the scene, we see the other side to the characters brain that is being rather rational. However they both come together in the end to show how they deal with what they believe are difficult situations.

Research of Love and Information: Style

There are a number of styles of Theatre ranging from Theatre of cruelty to Commedia dell’Arte. There are three different styles in which the three directors wanted to go for. .

The first style is absurdism.

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Theatre of the absurd is believed to be originated in the 1940’s and evolved up until the 1960’s.

Here is a quote that I have found that states what Theatre of the absurd is:

         A form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed,              repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that                lack realistic or logical development.

(Farlex, 2003)

This is stating that Absurd Theatre is hard to follow as it has no plot. Scenes may be repeated. Personally, I feel that this is to keep some form of consistency during the performance. I personally feel that this form has a slight sense of surrealism, as it states in the (Posted, 2013) (History.com, no date) quote, it lacks the realistic side of the performance, and has no development with logic.

The idea of Theatre of the Absurd is that the play will dictate the structure of the performance. The language that is used to generally dislocated, full of cliches and puns, which, as I mentioned earlier is repeated throughout the play. This style of Theatre declined in mid 1960’s

 

Poor Theatre:

Referring to Nicola Mezza’s presentation on prezi, and Britannica online, I have been able to find out and discuss what poor Theatre is and know why it is used.

Poor Theatre began with the Polish playwright Jerzy Grotowski in the 1960’s. He believed that Theatre would never be able to compete with media, so it should never attempt to. Grotowski also wanted the performers and spectators to have a relationship during the performance, as he believed it would be more intimate for all parties. The aim of poor          Theatre is to eliminate the barrier between audience and performers, thus creating communication between the two. The influences that caused this movement in Theatre was, paratheatre and Theatre of transformation.

In this time, spaces dedicated for Theatre were changed for deserted rooms and buildings. The performers of poor Theatre are able to communicate through sound and movement. Poor Theatre is aimed to use the simplest form of staging, lighting, costumes and special effects. Symbolism was the main form of poor Theatre.

  • Image citation:
  • ([CSL STYLE ERROR: reference with no printed form.])
  • (Theatre links, 2016)

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Postmodernism

I am aware that I spoke of the postmodernist era in the period of the production, however it is the style which I am now going to be talking about. It is believed that postmodernist Theatre is superseded of modernism. It challenges accepted views on the world. The narrative is generally broken and paradoxical.

Postmodern plays would use technology as scenery and use backdrops in the history of times that are being performed which would give the audience a better understanding. Also some smaller Theatres would perform outside. The audience would participate with performers creating an experience together. The majority of the issues tackled in postmodern Theatre are created from history, culture and social issues.It is believed that postmodern Theatre rejects chronological linearity, meaning that what happens at the beginning of a story, is not what essentially happens on stage.

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Reference:

 

Research of Love and Information: Period

In this section of the portfolio, I am going to show the knowledge I have gained from researching the different elements of the production. This has given me more of an insight into how the process should start as a set designer, instead of going in with a blank state. Here is the research I have come up with in order for me to design the set.

Period:

The first element I researched was the period of the production. After meeting with one of the directors, I found out that she wanted to do a post-modern day performance.

Postmodern Theatre emerged from the reaction of modern Theatre. Majority of the postmodernist era, are focused highly on the fallibility of accounted truths, instead engaging the audience into reaching their own understanding of a performance. Substantially, postmodern Theatre raises more question than supplying answers.

As well as looking at the period, I have been able to look at some post modernist designers, in order to gain an insight into their work and see how the work has evolved throughout the years.

The first performance I looked at was Sarah Kane’s 4.48 psychosis. The designer which I looked at for this production, was Chantal Mark, which premiered in 2014. Here are the designs which I have found that shows me the style of postmodern Theatre.

(4.48 Psychosis [2014], no date)

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As some of the scenes in ‘Love and Information’ are based on mental illness, this has prepared me to know that anything aesthetically pleasing can be given a feel of foreboding if used correctly. The images which I have provided, has proved to me why a set designer and lighting designer need to have communication at all times.

The second designer I looked at is, Eugene Lee, for the performance of Caryl Churchill’s, ‘Drunk enough to say I love you.’ As ‘Love and Information,’ and ‘Drunk enough to say I love you,’ is written by the same playwright, I thought that is would be a good idea to look at some others plays she has written.

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(Brantley, 2008)

From what I have seen from Churchill’s plays, the set has been very simplistic. This one for example is of a sofa. However, props materialise from the set, and the further into the play we get, the sofa moves further away from the audience and gets lifted off of the space, until they are fully overlooking the audience.

Looking at the period has been hard, as when I have researched, nothing is validated into when postmodern Theatre arose. However, finding recent plays and looking at designers for the different performances has shown me that even the simplest sets are very effective if used correctly.

References:

Love and Information: Analysis

Analysing a Script
Scene Character Direction Setting Mood Props
1 Secret Whispers Mental Institution? Pleading; Commited; Dedicated
Census Mental Institution? Paranoid; Repent; Unworthy
Fan Devotion; Love; Lust; Obsession
Torture Police Station Depression; Bribe; Desperation
Lab Science Lab; Breeding Farm Intellegent Conversation;
Sleep Bed Depression; Insomniac; Reasoning
Remote x2 Bedsit Confrontation; Happiness; Reasoning
2 Irrational Maths/Science Classroom Confrontation; Irrationality
Affair x2 Coffee Shop Scared; Dedication; Commitment
Mother x2 Living Room Abusive; Life Changing; Scared
Fired x2 Business Office Anger; Frustration
Message x2 Councilling Office Lost; Suicidal; Terror; Scared
Grass x2 Field Anger; Scarred; Resentfulness; Defending
Terminal x2 Doctors Office Scared; Thankful; Informative; Emotional
3 Schizophrenic In a car Paranoid; Unreasonable; Informative; Secretive
Spies x2 Pub Angry; Informative; Paranoid
Dream x2 Sat in Garden Adultry; Guilt; Lust
Recluse x3 Two Inside – One Outside; Go outside Living Room Scared; Aggitated
God’s Voice Confession Religious; Defending; Confrontational
The Child Who Didn’t Know Fear One Person Tells A Story To Another Bed Brave; StoryTelling
Star Intellectual; Informative
4 Wedding Video Several People Living Room Happiness; Enjoyment; Curiosity; Jokingly;
Savant Councillers Room Mental Disability; Genious; Helpful
EX Cafe Happiness; Relisation; Contemptment; Remanising
Memory House Eldery Couple? Dementure; Sadness; Confusing
Dinner Three People; Sits; Plays Piano;
Jennifer Singing; Get up
Rehearsal Room Apprehension; Enjoyment; Passion
Flashback Bed Panic Attack; Hopeful; Helplessness;

Design Brief

For this section of the set portfolio/blog, I have taken it upon myself to create a design brief in order to complete and comply with what the directors want for the performances set.

After a number of meetings and two set presentations, the set was finalised and was ready to start build. The final design left us with three boxes, one clinical, one similar to a shack, and the final box with an optical illusion, all of different size. As I am designing the clinical, and similar to shack, I am not going to talk about the optical illusion box.

The shack like box is to be made out of panelling from disused pallets. The two entrances for this box is to be through a window and a human cat flap which will swing both forwards and back. It will be decorated with three scaffolding poles, foliage, polystyrene and tarpaulin for the window.

For the clinical box, it will have four flats on the back and two flats either side. These are to be at an angle so the audience have sight lines, so the they can see what is happening at all times. The flats are to have a base coat of white and then fully covered in white emulsion to give a clean feeling. There is to be a window where performers can enter and exit with the use of Lycra attached to the door. There is to be three large areas of the three remaining flats which are to be made out of Lycra with slits in. This is so the performers can put their limbs through the Lycra and also so they can put limbs in the material and make shapes.

Both of the sets are to be conjoined and blend into one and other when they meet.

What is love and information about?

For this production, I have been asked to work on the Acting show, ‘Love and Information.’

This performance is about subliminal messaging between a number of characters. It is about the way we communicate with each other in a variety of situations, as well as showing the consequences of our actions. It is a fast moving kaleidoscope, with more than 100 characters trying to make sense of what they know. It shows that we live in a world where bombardment of information is in jeopardy of leading to atrophy of memory, abrasion of privacy and decay of feeling. It shows how some people in the world don’t know how to cope with information available.