FMP IDEA – ‘Saints and Sinners’ Club
Seven Deadly Sins and Heavenly Virtues
Lust (excessive sexual appetites) Chastity (purity)
Gluttony (over-indulgence) Temperance (self-restraint)
Greed (avarice) Charity (giving)
Sloth (laziness/idleness) Diligence (zeal/integrity/Labor)
Wrath (anger) Forgiveness (composure)
Envy (jealousy) Kindness (admiration)
Pride (vanity) Humility (humbleness)
I think we need to clarify what kind of club it is as I think everyone has different ideas. In my head the ‘Saints and Sinners’ club should be a Cabaret Club as it makes more sense in regards to the types of people who might go there and also provides a reason for their to be music and ‘acts’ as it were. Also during the 1920s and 1930s Cabaret clubs were often seen as ‘sinful’ places due to the things that went on there, such as drinking, sex, frivolous and violent behaviour. I want to raise a question as to how we link the preamble in the bar where the actors are bar staff and bouncers to what happens in the theatre as I feel if we are setting up the idea of an immersive feel then this should be carried through to an extent to avoid confusion. I wasn’t sure whether it was envisioned that the action that takes place on the stage once the audience will be ‘the acts’ at the club, or whether we were wanting to explore the idea of what goes on behind the scenes in the club. For example the conflict, relationships and lives of the people who work there? I understand that it is essential to have the audience in the end on raked seating, however after watching a recent production at East 15 Drama School where the majority of the audience were on the raked seating but several audience members were asked to sit in tables at the side of the stage, I thought this would be a really good way of giving the impression of the audience being at the club without having to have a full cafe theatre seating plan.
Obviously we don’t have to restrict ourselves to just sticking to either exploring the stories and problems of the various characters (whether they be staff/performers at the club or people visiting), as we could also intersperse these with ‘acts’ that are essentially performances taking place in the club.
In regards to different characters that could feature in the piece, I think we should have a mixture of people who work at the club (for example bouncers, performing acts, show girls, the Compare/MC) and people visiting the club. Those playing people visiting the club could even start amongst the audience or be sitting at one of the side tables with other audience members and then enter the stage from there, as it will reiterate the immersive nature of the piece. Obviously the concept Lynn proposed is that different couples that enter the club have one of the sins and one of the virtues; however I wasn’t sure how this would work, so I took the idea and developed and changed it slightly. I thought it might be more interesting if we assigned qualities to different character in the show (both those of us playing audience members and those of us playing people who work at the club).
For example, we could cover the sin of LUST by having the show girls or Prostitutes and the men that go to the club? And balance this out with CHASTITY with a character who either works at the club or someone visiting the club who is extremely virtuous. Perhaps a showgirl who doesn’t want to perform in such a way but is thrown in at the deep end? (Similar to Kim in Miss Saigon in the beginning scenes) Or someone who is bought along to the club with a friend but was very religious and didn’t know what they were getting themselves into or where they were going?
GLUTTONY could explore the idea of a character (perhaps a man who is visiting the club, maybe a regular) who gets over indulgent with their drink whilst at the club? He could be perceived as quite a disgusting character who is rude and ill mannered.
TEMPERANCE (self restraint) someone could be provoked in some way igniting a fight in the club, but the character has to keep contained and stop themselves from engaging in this. Alternatively, we could have a character such as a recovering alcoholic who is having to use huge amounts if SELF RESTRAINT to stay sober and not be tempted by the drink around him.
SLOTH could be someone who works at the club who isn’t pulling their weight and is generally be lazy and not doing the jobs they should be doing. Maybe he works behind the bar?
DILIGENCE could be someone who works in the bar and is always hard working and dedicated, perhaps they spend their time trying to motivate the character who is always lazy. Alternatively this could be a character who visits the club
ENVY could be a character who had come to the club with their partner (girlfriend/boyfriend) but their significant other has started eyeing up someone else and the other gets jealous and conflict is sparked? Alternatively, it could between two of the show girls, perhaps one is jealous of the other for being a better performer or for always getting more attention, however the other girl is completely oblivious and is simply being herself.
KINDNESS/ADMIRATION could be one or two of the show girls who could simply show kindness to the others after having a conflict of some kind with the owner of the Club or someone else who works there or something along these lines.
PRIDE (vanity) could be a character who is really self loving and vain in the sense that they feel they can get any one they want and is always used to this, they think they are a godsend and are far too big headed. However once they meet a girl who they fall for but who doesn’t immediately love him back, he becomes more genuine and humble due to her influence.
HUMILITY (humbleness) LINK TO PRIDE CHARACTER CONTRAST THIS (explored in further detail later in the post as a response to the proud character hitting on her/him)
GREED could be the owner of the Club who is all for making money and doesn’t much care for the well being of his workers or the goings on his club. He represents greed as nothing is enough for him and he always wants more of everything. As well as this we could explore a businessman type character who is a regular at the club who is obsessed with the finances of his job etc. this could link to political character influenced by Jack’s ideas, which I expand on later.
CHARITY could possibly be a character who is always putting others before themselves in life which has often resulted in missing out or being worse of in some way despite of this. The character could be an extreme case of being too charitable to the point that it affect them negatively, thus showing how the virtues and sins need to be balanced to benefit everyone, and that being slightly greedy isn’t always bad.
WRATH could be a character who is having some kind of personal relationship troubles and takes this out on the people around him/her or his/her partner? This could be portrayed comedically or truthfully and integrally.
FORGIVENESS could be represented by character who has suffered in some way and has to come to a conclusion of whether to choose to forgive and move on or live in anger and weighed down by the person or situation that has affected them so much.
Incorporating other people’s ideas
- We could incorporate Josh’s dance/physical duet portraying domestic abuse in a relationship by having the character who represents ENVY being abusive to his girlfriend out of jealously of another man in the club who is eyeing up his girlfriend. This could develop and pan out over the course of the show.
- Being set in a club we could easily feature my idea of the song First/Date last night as a way of portraying PRIDE and HUMILITY. The song is a duet between the guy and girl after experiencing the dogfight where the guy picks her as his date as an attempt to win a prize for bringing the ugliest girl. By this point the girl knows about the situation and has to remain composed and humble to keep her dignity instead of falling apart.
- We could also use the Dogfight idea to explore CHASTITY, PRIDE and HUMILITY by using the song ‘Come to a party with me’.
- Another option from Dogfight would be a solo song called ‘Pretty Funny’ which the female lead sings after finding out she was only asked out on the date as a joke to win the ‘ugliest girl’ competition. She isn’t bitter about it, although she is hurt, she appears HUMBLE and FORGIVING.
- Merrily We Roll Along – ‘Now you know’ – this could be used as a song the confident sings to some of the characters as a way of giving them advice. The song is quite satirical in the sense it focus’ on the negatives and kind of undermines people’s problems and tells them to man up as at the end of the day it will make you stronger as a person.
- Also the song, ‘Rich and Happy’ could be used as a way of exploring GREED.
- We could use Emma’s idea of performing the number ‘Bring on The Men’ from Jekyll and Hyde the musical to show LUST, which could be performed by the Show girls or prostitutes in the club. This could be a choreographed number as well as sung, and could be featured as a song performed on the stage in the club or could be a way of portraying their stories.
- We could use the character personifying TEMPERANCE or GLUTTONY to explore the idea or drug or alcohol addiction and thus potentially use Josh’s idea about drug abuse as the stimulus for a narrative. However, if we may choose to explore this in a more positive way and focus on TEMPERANCE and the struggles to stay sober rather than the downward spiral, or we could explore both and compare these.
- Obviously not all the scenes have to be portray these character traits and individual stories, because with it being set in a club with could also feature ‘acts’ which are portrayed as the actual performances taking place as the entertainment in the club. So we could use the more upbeat songs and dances in this place?
- We could potentially ask Paul to do a full company arrangement of ‘Can I play with madness’, which was a song Jack suggested, originally by Iron Maiden. This could be set in the club mid way through the first half when conflict had started to take place.
- Jack also mentioned in his presentation that he wanted to demonstrate how Politicians are both saints and sinners and explore how this might be. Interesting, I have recently found a short monologue from ‘Wall Street’ where the character is talking about politics and economics in a way where he exemplifies it as GREED. This could be a good way of incorporating both Jack’s political angle and the deadly sin of GREED. The character who performs the monologue could be at the bar in the club talking to his friends or work colleagues about his job and their current position in the market economically and politically. They would be a well to do character who is quite self absorbed and generally GREEDY.
- We could use my idea of ‘Will I’ or ‘No day but today’ from RENT as a way of uniting all the separate characters and their problems. This could feature at the end of act 1 or beginning of act 2.
New ideas of songs that tie to the seven deadly sins
Songs that link to GREED
- Etta James – You Give me what I want – GREED
- Songs for a new world – River Won’t Flow for Me – GREED
- Songs for a new world – Just One Step – GREED
- Songs for a new world – Stars and the Moon – GREED – This Song shows both sides of greed as the final verse is about seeing past materialistic qualities.
- Cabaret – Money – GREED
Songs that link to CHARITY
- Song for a New World – I’d give it all for you – CHARITY
Songs that link to LUST
- Lady Antebellum – Need you Now – LUST
Songs that link to PRIDE
- Songs for a new world – King of the World – PRIDE
Songs that link to WRATH
- Follies – Could I leave you? – WRATH
- Merrily we Roll Along – Not a day goes by – WRATH
Songs that link to FORGIVENESS
- Last Five years – See I’m Smiling – FORGIVENESS
Songs that link to ENVY
- Dolly Parton – Jolene – ENVY –
- Last Five Years – I can do better than that – ENVY?
Songs that link to PRIDE
- Last Five Years – I can do better than that – PRIDE?
- Drowsy Chaperone – Show off – PRIDE
Songs that link to KINDNESS
- Tim McGraw – Humble and Kind – KINDNESS
Songs that link to HUMILITY
- Tim McGraw – Humble and Kind – HUMILITY
Songs that link to CHASTITY
- Sara Bareillis – Sweet as Whole – CHASTITY (purity) – in an ironic way? Undermining the idea of people being all good and saying its natural to have bad feelings towards people?
Songs that link generally
- Kiss Me Kate – Always True To You Darling In My Fashion (CONTRAST TO ENVY)