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"if you hold the ladder for the thief you are just as bad as he is" - Heto

The Trial Review

  • Date Submitted: 02/07/2013 03:18 PM
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Unit 2: Exploring play texts: Documentary Response to Live Theatre: The Trial by Devised Splendid.


On Tuesday 11th of January 2011, we watched a performance of ‘The Trial’ written by Franz Kafka in the 1920’s and performed by Devised Splendid. We watched this performance in the drama studio at school and it was performed in the style ‘end-on’ which means that the audience were not positioned oddly, they were sat opposite the stage. The performance started as soon as we entered the room and the characters were all in role throughout the show. The protagonist was called Josef K and played by Rosie McKay. At the start of the piece Josef K was arrested for an unknown reason, which left the audience puzzled and made them want to know more about the performance.

The set was a red and black colour scheme, this was symbolic to the performance, and it seemed to represent evil, suffering and death. This was to support the dark story line and to make it quite dramatic. It also represents fascists and communists. This theme was carried out all the way through the performance. There was a minimal use of props, most of the performance they just used body propping. All the props that they did use, they used multiple times as different things. For example, they used a curtain rail as a door as well as a bed. There was an apron and white cap to show that he was a maid. Also the whipper wore safety glasses and ear protectors, to over-exaggerate and to mock health and safety rules in the United Kingdom. There was also a puppet who was the advocate!

There was a red rope that they used quite a lot in the performance; to start with they used it as stage boundaries to show where the stage was and where the audience had to be. When they moved this rope they broke the fourth wall. This means that they were communicating and interacting with the audience rather than performing to them. Another thing that they used the red rope for was when they were whipping Josef K in the...

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