My time today was dedicated to working on one of my commission pieces for our final major project ‘Art and Life’. My group for the ‘Alice’ piece by ‘Laura Wade’, met up so we could have our initial discussion of ideas that we could use for this piece. We first started by reading through the ‘Tea Party’ scene, which is the scene that we will be performing and working on over the next couple of weeks. We read through the scene multiple times, with different people reading different characters each time. That way we could find the best combination and work out who should play which character. I will be playing the character of ‘Alice’ which we already knew going into the scene and we ended up choosing Liam to play the character of ‘The Mad Hatter’, as he had an extravagance in the read though which fitted the character perfectly. It also helps that he looks like he could be cast as ‘The Mad Hatter’, so it will be more believable for the audience. Will is going to be playing ‘The Hare’ and also puppeteer and voice ‘The Dormouse’. Initially we were faced with the problem of having four characters but only three actors. However whilst we were discussing various solutions to this problem, such as splitting ‘The Dormouse’ lines between Will and Liam, our tutor suggested the possibility of having ‘The Hare’ having a puppet mouse who he uses a different voice for. We thought this would work really well as the character is meant to be mad and this almost creates the idea of a split personality with this fake mouse, which would add to ‘The Hare’s’ madness and also the overall style of the piece. It also could add some more humour to the piece, which works well as it is one of the more comedic sections of the play and intends to be funny to watch. Also in the read through, we realised how important the production elements are going to be and how they have the ability to massively impact our over all piece. Things like set and props will need to be organised early on, and we plan on allocating quite a bit of time to the production side of this piece, as this will be a time-consuming element, with such specific props and requirements to create the setting the three characters are in.
We also discussed if we should change any references in the scene that link to Sheffield, or change them to be in Suffolk, but we decided against this as we didn’t want it to feel too much like a pantomime and we want to stay as true to the text as we can do. It isn’t a huge part of our piece and we think that it would be too drastic to change the location where this version of ‘Alice’ is from.
For ‘The Dormouse’, whilst reading through the script, the group really liked the voice that Liam did for the character. However in the script it works better with how ‘The Hare’ is portrayed, if he is the one to do the voice and movement of the puppet. This is because ‘The Hatter’s’ madness is more of an extravagance, where as we found that ‘The Hare’ is more of a spontaneous energy, as if he is on caffeine . Due to this, Liam then proceeded to try to teach Will how he could get the same vocal effect, so that he can play ‘The Dormouse’.