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Willie Russel - making the cliff scene dramatic


pwincesspink 2 / 3  
Jun 19, 2008   #1
How does Willie Russell make the cliff scene dramatic and how does he prepare us for it?

Our Day Out is a heart warming journey about a young vulnerable child called Carol, who embarks on an emotional journey. Willie Russell uses a poor, young emotional child to get the audiences sympathy. Using such characters and emotive language he makes the cliff scene dramatic.

Carol is the small confused child and initially comes across as a naïve girl who seems ungrateful for her lifestyle. She always seems to be dreaming big, of owning houses near the beach, but it is slowly revealed that her dreams are resulting from isolation and poverty and deficiency in her education. A quote to proof this will be "miss I don't like it. It's horrible. I just like sitting here with you, looking at the lake". This quote clearly shows how sweet and innocent Carol seemed when the play started. This seems to be very strange, for a young girl to want to sit in one place and keep watching the lake. This shows that her interests are like older people and that she is mature for her age .

Mr Briggs starts off as an unfriendly individual, and comes across as an unpleasant man who doesn't enjoy having fun and does not want the kids to enjoy themselves "Linda Croxley! If you don't behave you will spend the remaining time of visiting Conway in the coach!", this quote shows Mr Biggs attitude towards the trip and the kids.

Mr Briggs is a arrogant person like the way he shouts at them in the very first scene, saying "Come on move" Mr. Briggs is also very strict at first we know this because he just gets on the coach and shouts "Reilly. Dickson, sit down" This creates tension because it makes the reader go against Mr. Briggs. Reilly then tries to cover up himself and Mr Briggs Shouts "Sit down, come on move!" We can see that he is not interested in what students have to say. Mr Briggs changes throughout the play like when he actually trusted them in the zoo. A quote, which shows this, is when he says "All right Mrs. Kay we'll trust them to act responsible". During that time the kids took the animals when Mr. Briggs finds out he is furious and shouts, "I trusted you lot!" This creates tension because Mr. Briggs feels like the kids have let them down.

However in contrast to Mr. Biggs, Mrs. Kay is a pleasant, caring, and a motherly-natured teacher who genuinely cares for the children. She is seen as a friend to most of the kids, someone they can confide in. "What's the matter, love? Aren't you enjoying it?" This shows that her attitude towards teaching and the kids is more loving, as she is using words such as "love" to refer to the kids. Yet Mr. Briggs was a stuck up teacher. When they went to the castle he says, "...well that's a fine attitude isn't it? That's a fine attitude for a member of the teaching profession to have". This quote portrays Mr. Briggs as being a bossy individual that thinks he can throw his weight around and expects people to listen to his commands.

Willie Russell slowly prepares the audience for the cliff scene by allowing Carol to ask weird questions that shows her abnormal behavior and makes the audience think more about of her thoughts. She asked Mrs. Kay three times "Miss, when do we have to go home?" At this point the audience is getting curious because they find it odd that she is repeating these questions.

Willie Russell creates dramatic tension by including different sorts of techniquessuch as the cliff scene. The setting took place upon the cliff where Carol and her fellow teacher Mr. Briggs are there examining the situation they came to find themselves in. Here the audience sees a huge change in both of the characters' personalities. They seem to change roles with each other, here the teacher becomes vulnerable and the student makes the demands like Mr. Briggs used to. The audience sees a clear role reversal. This also builds dramatic tension and the audience is much more puzzled. Suddenly Carol goes from being a nice, innocent child to being more stubborn and moody. "Don't you dare come near me" and at that moment Mr. Briggs realises how devastated and furious Carol is. Mr. Biggs is not in charge now like he was when the kids were on the bus. This also adds dramatic effect as he feels helpless now, and has to sacrifice one of the wishes of his fellow students. Moreover, Briggs is calmly talking to carol as Briggs is trying to convince Carol not to jump, he begs her to come as he says "Please..." The audience now seem to think how much he really cares for her and the eclipses on the quote also build tension for the audience. Another reason why dramatic tension builds up on the cliff scene is because there is only two characters up there so this adds to the tension. All the audience's attention is on Mr. Briggs and Carol. In addition a quote that shows Carol is really angry is "Don't be friggin' stupid." This now amazes the audience, plus makes them feel astonished that a girl like Carol can say bitter things like that, together with this quote colloquial language is used, e.g. the word "friggin'". Using colloquial language such as this makes the play more realistic, believeable, and convincing.

Willie Russell attempts to create dramatic tension by including stage direction, there is involving stage directions this is a key issue that creates the tension it's highlighted in italic and tells you what the character is doing for example (Briggs approaches. On seeing her he stops and stands a few yards off) this tells you what the character is doing in that period of time. This makes no sense. I do not know what you mean here. Please rewrite to clarifdy or remove it. Also another example of a stage direction in the play is (Turning, she dismisses him). This is crafted throughout the cliff scene, portrays ignorance and shows the lack of manners she has learned from her upbringing. And two characters Briggs and Carol get closer in the cliff scene. For example "he moves forward. Again, she moves nearer to the edge. He stops they look at each other". This now creates intense tension because they are getting closer to each other and it makes the audience get into the play more. Furthermore more tension also builds up "I'll give you five seconds. Just five seconds. One...two...three...four I'm warning you, five". The effect of when Mr. Briggs is counting is that the audience is gripped.

The scene becomes more dramatic as Carol's story is told in more detail. She is sick of being treated like a prisoner in the deprived inner city. Her colours begin to show when she rudely shouts at Mr. Biggs as though he is a normal person and not an authoritative figure.

In conclusion Willie Russell successfully makes the cliff scene by adding dramatic tension and how he prepares us for it. I think he makes the audience fully makes sure that he has done his job to the extreme and succeeds it by adding stage directions and making it look believable."



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