Following our online group discussion at the weekend regarding the progress of the melodrama we decided to conduct a group meeting where we could discuss the outline of the piece together. I offered to act as scribe for the meeting and write the the points we discussed and the decisions we made.
Company members present: Lou. Emma. Harry. Daytona. Leah. James. Beth.
Firstly we went through the ideas that had been brought up in the group chat the night before and Daytona and Emma shared the ideas they had brainstormed over the video call they had later that night.
I think we are all in agreement that we don’t want to have to go back to the original idea of having a melodrama based on st Edmund as we felt it jut didn’t fit with the whole narrative and feel that the show has developed into, and just generally wasn’t relevant. Lou, Emma, Daytona and I were all enthusistuc for the melodrama to be based on the love triangle and to come out of the action rather than being an organised performance for the club as thought it might be slight random. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, certain members of the group were not actually contributing at all to the development of the piece despite being the ones who are performing in the melodrama and so would be the most affected. I appreciate that not everyone is inspired with ideas or vocal in expressing these, however it was extremely frustrating and made me question why I am bothering to out so much effort into helping them make something of the melodrama when they are not going to give anything back or show their apprehension at all.
The starting point Emma and Daytona had began brainstorming yesterday was really imaginative and worked with the ideas Lou and I had proposed the day before. I really liked the way they managed to work out a way of introducing the melodrama act as I was worried about how we could go into it without it feeling really forced and unnatural; however Emma and Daytona managed to come up with a reason that makes the drama come out of a conversation between their characters and Lou.
This is a rough outline of the original idea that Emma and Daytona came up with on Sunday and talked us through in today’s meeting:
- Jane (Lou) is drunk and knows Maddie (Emma) is best mates with Rose (Beth) and so she confides in her about what’s happening between her and Edward (Harry) when she goes up to the bar to get a drink.
- Maddie obviously knows that Rose and Edward were together and broke up because of the affair and so she tells Jane what she’s heard about the situation and Jane tells her her version of events are wrong and begins to tell Maddie what is actually happening from her side of the story.
- Maddie defends Rose and Jand disagrees and they both end up coming to the conclusion that Edward is in the wrong after a long discussion at the bar.
- Maddie is an aspiring novelist and wants to use the whole drama as an idea for a book she’s writing and talks about using their ‘love triangle’ situation as the main plot for the novel.
- Maddie knows Caroline (Daytona) who is at the bar too and so she tells her the idea, explaining that she got inspiration from Jane, Edward and Rose’s situation.
- Completely drunk gets James and Jill (Leah) up on the Cabaret stage to act out the love triangle as a bit of fun (because they are all drunk).
- Jane sees what is going on an asks what we’re doing and confronts Maddie and Caroline saying that is not what she told her and that she confided in her with trust.
However in the meeting some plot holes arose that didn’t make sense in terms with the knowledge certain character actually have about the love triangle at this point and the current terms in their relationship at this point in the play. For example, in the original idea Daytona and Emma proposed they assumed that Lou’s character, Jane, already knew however for it to make sense with the rest of the scenes that happen later it is crucial that Lou doesn’t yet know this information. Therefore we had to explain this to them and make some tweaks to the idea so that it works for us all.
I proposed that this casual conversation between Jane and Maddie at the bar could be the point that Jane actually finds out that Edward actually had a wife while he was dating her and that she had been double crossed. Everyone was in agreement that this would work well and were happy to make the changes (although we were still not getting responses or any input from James and Leah on the matter despite them being present in the meeting and being asked for their opinions on several occasions).
Here are the notes I made on the ammended plan:
- Maddie is severing at the bar and Jane comes up to get a drink and they start a conversation and it comes up in conversation that Jand has been dating Harry.
- Maddie knows the reason they broke up was because Rose found out he was cheating and so puts two and two together and tells Jane that she was the cause of them splitting.
- Jane didn’t know Edward had a wife and is upset that she had been double crossed.
- Maddie is an aspiring writer and wants to use as a plot for a novel.
- Caroline overhears and as she is drunk she pulls up her friends to act out the scene on the stage in a spoof like mockery (much like the sandryadee’ scene in ‘Grease’).
After a lot of diliberation and swapping round roles we finally decided that Daytona and Leah would collaborate with each other to write the script for the actually onstage spoof scene, (as leah is wanting to go into script writing in the future so this would be a good way of her gaining experience and showing off her skills), while myself and Emma are going to work together in the short moments of dialogue leading up to and after the spoof happens, as we are both already involved in the script writing and so there will be consistency with the style as well as the bonus that we both have a good understanding of all the storylines of all the characters involved.
Although Daytona was really worried about taking on the task of writing the melodrama sketch I think this will be a really good challenge for her and hopefully boost her confidence and confirm her abilities making her more eager to be slightly more involved to the project? I was really pleased that she went away and worked on it in her own time, as this is not always something Daytona manages to do consistently, and the first draft she shared with us this evening was a really positive start that captured the mood well.
Here is the first draft of script Daytona has shared with us:
Melodrama script (Middle Section)
THIS IS ALL VERY MELODRAMATIC AND IS NOT TO BE FORMED IN A NATURAL WAY
*Emma has just told Daytona that she’s writing a novel about a love triangle
*All characters are quite drunk
*For the purpose of the script we’ll call James, Brendan
Daytona: *Fairly drunk and stumbling a little*
That’s a great plot! Jill, Jill we need to act this out, come here, come here
Leah: I’m not drunk enough yet..
Daytona: Pfft, come on, you know you want to..
Leah: Fine (Reluctantly stands up)
Daytona: And you Brendan!
James: *Finishes drink and stands up to join in*
Alright then, I’m coming
Leah: Do we have to do this? *Rolls eyes*
Daytona: Yes Jill, it’ll be fun…
*Low pitch imitating voice said in a melodramatic way*
(to Leah) Oh Jane, my love, I love you so much, but I just can’t be with you right now
because I also love Rose
Leah: What on earth do you mean you love Rose? we were meant to get married and live together
Emma: Don’t forget the children!
Leah: and have many….many…..many…..many children
James: Where do I come into this?
Leah, Daytona & Emma: We’re getting to you!
Daytona: *low pitch imitating voice*
(to James) Oh Rose, my beloved, I love you with all my heart, but I love somebody else..
James: WHAT?! *Fake crying* How could you do this to me Edward?
*Scene freezes, Emma steps in front and says*
Emma: Rose and Edward are in a relationship and they’ve not been getting on for some time now. Edward is having an affair with Jane who is completely smitten with Edward. Edward is unaware that Rose knows about his sordid little affair
and he is now telling his fiance and ‘bit on the side’ about one another…
Daytona: I’m ever so sorry, maybe it would be better is we…
James: * Still fake crying* If we what Edward…
Daytona: *Extremely dramatic* If we part and go our separate ways.
Although there are some bits that need to be tweaked slightly I think that Daytona made a good start and managed to capture the melodramatic style really well without forcing the stereotypes or need to be funny too much. One thing I might suggest is to change the names in the ‘play’ version that they act out on the stage to avoid confusion and it may actually produce some comedy in finding names that are similar to the character names they are portraying but only changed slightly in a really unsubtle way. This is something I will raise to the rest of the group via our group message before we next meet.