White Card Model

I want to have my orchestra on a balcony as though they are the musicians playing in a music hall, music is so important to the piece so I want them to be seen though out. By creating a balcony split onto to levels the actors can also use the balcony without obstructing the view of the orchestra.

I want to have a skeletal staircase that shows the characters fixation on their strive to reach greater heights in society and with their wealth. I want it to be skeletal to show that there is no substance to hold them up.

Wollaton Hall Visit

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The Beggar’s Opera – Research Images

William Hogarth

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18th Century Theatre



The Beggar’s Opera – design concept ideas: Brecht

My previous knowledge of Brecht
• humorous in a bleak, cynical way, presents social and political questions.
•breaks the 4th wall
• improbable stories, in an episodic structure wirhthe use of songs to comment on the action.
•uses captions to highlight importantvevents and make commentary

Threepenny Opera 》intended to ridicule the conventional sentimental musical.

Caucasian Chalk Circle 》play within a play, to resolve the conflict of two groups.

Influence – expressionism, political theatre

Epic Theatre

calm detached contemplation and judgement,  the dramatic overwhelms reason with passion and emotion, the spectator sharing the actors experience.

• Brecht objected to “Aristotelian” and “culinary theatre”

• theatre must break the illusion audience must be aware that events are not present, past events being representef ad narrative with commentry provided to encourage our own reflection.

• historical,  audience continually reminded  that epic theatre gives a report of events.

• to stop audience identifying with characters, action must continually be made strange, remote, seperate – distancing techniques,  V-effekt

The Gestus
•Brecht’s term for ‘that which expresses basic human attitudes’
• Not just gesture but all digms of social relations
• clear, stylised.
• in song, clearly ‘gestic’ overt, grand but simple gestures

•break up story into distinct episodes, clearly ordered.
• captioned scenes, telling audience what the imporyant event is.

• not illusion of reality,  non realistic to provide background material.
• stage brightly lit at all times, source plainly visible
• titles, captions and comments, placards , may be placed in the auditorium,  bearing instructions.
• suggestive but not realistic.  Authentic but not naturalistic.
• music has a visible source.

Against naturalistic theatre where the audience ‘hang yheir brains up with their hats in the cloakroom. ‘

The V-effekt used to make audience adopt the attitude of inquiry and criticism.

No attempt to put audience in a trance bit break the illusion, constantly reminding audience that they are watchinh a play so that they are made to think about  what they are witnessing.

To achieve this:
• transportation into the past
• speaking aloud stage directions
•addressing the audience directly
• nothing ‘magical’ on stage
•use of half curtains
•making visible light source/ music
• use of sigms, captions, comment
• use of sonts to disrupt action amd make comment

‘Fun’/satire grotesque stereotype audience invited to laugh at characters – condeming them for what they stand for

The Beggars Opera – key themes and messages

Inherent irony, rich and poor, makes omparisons between the powerful rih and desperate poor, despite social class all men are self interested amd corrupt.
equivalences made between highwayman and courtier,  lawyers and impeachers and statesmen and criminals.

No resemblance to romantic union, the notion is mocked through out.

Mocks the way statesmem reah great heights through hypocrisy,  it defines almost every character and sction of the play.

The Law
Law enforcement was corupt – court bribable to supress evidence. Lawyers profit by others vice.

Greed and Wealth
Social elements such as power, asset and gender, make audience acknowledge presence of greed not only among theives but also ‘nobler’ authorities.

Government and criminal justice

Brutality of Humans
Character make decisions through out the play that display their brutality towards one another.

The Beggar’Opera – notes on context

– moral corruption and hipocrisy
-for a woman 》 what you are worth to your parents, husband or in the street
-no sense of fairness or morals in the law
– system of barter, things beig passed around

The Beggar’s Opera – Research, William Hogarth


William Hogarth became most famous for his series paintings that depicted ‘Modern moral subjects’ which he sold engraving of on subscription.

Although he was a successful oil painter, painting satirical interpretations of contemporary customes, it was his evngaving that were so plagerised that he lobbied for the copyright Act of 1735.


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