In our afternoon session with Lynn, the small group of us who held a meeting earlier in the day had the opportunity to feedback our ideas and explore these further with Lynn and the rest of the class.
As previously mentioned one of our big talking points was the melodrama as a lot if us felt it was out of place and felt slightly like it had just been crammed in for the sake of including it, but didn’t necessarily make sense in relation to the rest of the narrative. When we originally raised this we received some conflicting opinion from Lynn as she felt it was essential to include for several reasons: Firstly, she needed it to stay as it provide some of the cast with an opportunity to showcase themselves suitably and secondly it also acted as a moment of comic relief in the performance. Although I understand both of these reasons, I wanted to emphasise how we could still provide these, however we personally felt it could be done in a way that made slightly more sense narratively. The first questions we wanted to raise to highlight our issues were whether Lynn envisioned the melodrama being an act on the stage in the club or simply happening as part of the action, as we felt this would help decide how we develop the idea further. We also felt that it made no sense having Harry’s character as part of this as he goes from being a member of the Posh group of boys, to the character in a love triangle between Lou’s character (Jane) and my character, where he is a visitor to the club and part of the love action, and then also the melodrama which would be more likely to lend itself to being a performance on the club stage! As we began to talk over the melodrama idea more with Lynn, I began to understand why she included it, however I still felt like I needed to create a reason for it taking place so that it didn’t feel so random. I originally stressed how we could still include the qualities of a melodrama (comedy, heightened drama, stock characters etc) without actually having to have an actual act taking place, however Lynn was adamant that she felt as director it should be kept in. One idea someone suggested to help think of reasoning behind it was that with the setting being a club the guests would most likely be drunk by the second half and when people are drunk they tend to be far more heightened and exaggerated in their actions, much like in a melodrama. I really liked this angle, and felt like it also gave us a reason to keep the act in the second half rather than moving it to the first half like we were originally wanting to suggest!
After us all agreeing that we should keep the melodrama as part of the show after all, we engaged in a further discussion as a class about how we thought we could adapt the Melodrama to fit into the overall story-arch of the show. To make sense more sense of the scene in relation to the other charcaters and the actors playing specific parts in the show, we suggested that the theme of the Melodrama could be changed to relate to a scene about the love triangle between Harry’s character (Edward), Lou’s (Jane) and mine (Rose). We agreed that the actual Melodrama scene would take place on the stage in the club as an act, however we wanted this to almost reflect the action that was happening ‘off stage’ between the characters by playing it as a spoof. We thought this would also help upset round the problem of Harry being involved in the melodrama (as it didn’t make sense when he was acting it out). We thought it would be funny if Leah played Lou’s character (as the obvious height difference would be satirical and comedic in itself), Daytona representing my character and James representing Harry’s – or even switching the gender roles for the remaining to charcaters. As well as this Emma will be narrating the scene (which makes sense narratively as her character on stage is linked to mine as we are both waitresses together!)
Structurally, we felt the spoof scene should open act two, and Vicky’s dance piece would follow directly afterwards – with both of these acts taking place on the club stage. We hope that by pulling the audience in with these engergised acts we should be able to capture their attention before delving back into the narrative.
After sorting this we began discussing how we might move other things around in the running order so that it would make sense dramatically as a through narrative, as well as thinking about any link scenes we might need to interject between big numbers. We sorted this out as a class, and then Lou graciously volunteered to write it up in a document so we could clearly display the changes we were proposing to the rest of the company. She also roughly outlined our idea for the changes to the melodrama on our Facebook page so that everyone could catch up and express their opinions:
I have attached a link to the document outlining the new running order for the show below. It highlights who is involved and whether the scenes are acts in the club or part of the non digetic story line: