How did the practical exploration enhance your understanding and knowledge of the play ‘East is East’?
The physical explorations have allowed me to bring the overall play to life (themes, situations and characters), making me physically, mentally and emotionally entwined.
Through solo frames, we focused on a character’s identity by how that character would react to being in their normal state, following George, then following Ella. I portrayed Meenah:
Through exploration of Mennah’s role, I learnt that her identity is shaped differently when presented with various situations. Her mood, tone, posture and mentality change, thus making me feel the pressure on her for being so many things. I learnt the elements of change in Meenah played a crucial role when relating to the context of the play: She may want to prove her dominance in the family by changing mentally and physically, as British and Pakistani culture in the 1970’s was a tough time for independent or ‘different’ women (not to society’s liking).
Family relations can also be related to the status of characters through their identities.
The negativeness of level and body language was my first interpretation. But when looking at another performance, I discovered that it could demonstrate the strength of the family. They used space to crowd each other, teasing too, which seems to be incorporated into all the siblings’ conversations. Some of their arguments can be aggressive, but they seem to understand they don’t mean it. For me, this emphasises their closeness. This exploration helped me understand how important it is for George to make his family appear high class, which links to how he tries to control Ella.
George and Ella’s Marriage
In exploring George and Ella’s marriage, I was able to dig into their relationship and understand what triggered each of their responses when in argument. Throughout the play, the...