After a refreshing week off we’re back to hard work, we received our feedback this week for the producers pitch and to be honest, it wasn’t what we expected. It was however a bit of a reality check into how much harder we need to work as a group. What caught us most regarding the feedback was the comment that we “had some problematic race issues”. Now, to us, Cemone is simply one of our group, she’s a peer, nothing more or less however after thinking upon the feedback in more depth, we do have to remember that everything we put on stage says something to the audience so when it comes to our final performance, we’re going to multi-role. A strong element of epic theatre and a good way to show that none of the group is being singled out in any way, we will all be playing both male and female roles. The feedback also stated that our strongest work was our physical movement – this I think we knew and have intended to incorporate into our final piece the best way we can. We also learned that it was the voiceover that let us down, again, something I think we were all worried about but we ran the risk and it didn’t work this time. We’ve no intentions of using in the final piece but it’s a shame it didn’t convey the messages we’d hoped it would.

After finding out that the rope was such a strong element to our pitch we were sorry to admit that we’re not able to find a purpose for it in our final piece, the rope linked mainly to our theme of suicide which we no longer have but with this information we decided to work with some costume ideas we had instead of the rope…

Image with costume

We did however, feel a little lost regarding our play and how we wanted it to be so we went back to Elinor Fuch’s Notes on a Small Planet and began to question, as a group how we wanted it to be. These we some of our answers:
What is the seasonal feel of our play? Autumnal
What is the mood of our play? Lonely
What is the colour of our play? Grey
If our play was an object, what would it be? Rusty metal pole

We know that we now want to include both timelines again, instead of just the futuristic one. I know that personally, after rereading the script over reading week, I am beginning to understand the playwright a little more now. In The Rivers of China, DeGroen is showing the two separate timelines for a reason. She is showing the past and what could be the future, in Katherine Mansfield’s story, in the 1920’s, she clearly depicts the oppression that a lot of women went though at that time, especially after researching Katherine Mansfield and her life, learning that she was somewhat of a maverick, that even, this strong willed woman, who defied her parents and society was still oppressed by this one man. Then in the future, we see a world dominated by women, we see men oppressed to the point where it’s everyday news that men are committing suicide due to the oppression – DeGroen is telling us in this play that we have to find a balance. Men and women have to be equal, one cannot have power over the other or the world simply doesn’t work, it’s a really powerful piece of feminist writing and I only hope our performance can make others think as much as me when I read the play.

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