Beauty and the beast

Essay by Janvie January 2005

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Choose a production you have seen during your course where the quality of the acting made a strong impression on you and the audience. Discuss, in detail, the performance by two actors that most impressed you. You will also need to give details of particular scenes or sections where the acting impressed you. You will need to include reference to the ways the actor developed their character on stage through movement, gestures, facial expressions, voice, use of space and relationships created on stage.

Aoife McMahon played the character of Beauty. She was made to be very elegant, and innocent. Much like the Disney version, and also the original fairy tale. We first see her portray emotion when she is six years old, in the scene where her mother dies. This shows us how she realised how fragile life is, at such a young age. She was very close to her mother, so when she dies, Beauty is absolutely distraught.

She moves to the front of the stage in a slow trance-like walk, gets on her knees, and sings a sad song. Her stance is very important, as is shows her bowing down to life, and ready for what life is going to give her. She realises that everybody does die at some point, and is not angry, as some children would be. She sings in a soft voice, showing us that she has accepted what has happened. Her interactions on stage are important, as when she is singing, she is physically closest to her father, then her brothers, and last of al, her sisters. This is to represent how close she actually feels and becomes to them later in the play.

When her father tells her that she has to go to Beast's castle, she understands immediately why. The...