The Occupation

For my integrated performance my group and I chose to stylise it typically toward a musical as we knew this was a popular, well known choice of style and would attracted a varied audience. The subject matter of our narrative is one of Jersey’s well known historic events, The Occupation. We decide to portray a family’s emotional distress throughout the events that occurred during the occupation. The main event in our narrative was the evacuation of jersey in which, the family in the performance decided to leave, but are stopped in their tracks when they soon discover that the boats are full.

The main aims of our piece was to educate the audience about the occupation and what everyday life was like for families, also to make our musical entertaining for all age groups in the general public, whilst creating a professional, sleek and well rehearsed musical. The Immanuel Community Centre was the venue for our performances. The centre was appropriate as a performing space because it was pre-rigged complete with a lighting desk and sound system. The centre was free, accessible and stylistically appropriate as the stage was an end on proscenium arch, the typical stage type for musicals.

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The centre was relevant to our piece because it is located in St Helier this is where our final scene took place at Albert pier in St Helier. As a group we decided the best way to construct the different art forms incorporated with in a musical was in collaboration with us all being the composer, lyrist, chorographer and librettist, we believed this was the best way the tackle the art forms as we noticed the strong bounds the arts have with one another, for instance, the lyricist can not write a solo for a character if they are not familiar with the personality, wants and needs of the character.

We had to take the timing and emotional atmosphere in consideration with the other art forms otherwise our performance would not be coherent. Music can provide the background to a piece establishing a mood, highlight particular actions, and creating real depth within a peice. The melody and lyrics dictate the flow and emotion of a dance. Music can reflect the piece culturally, artistically and socially, but without the group knowing the script nether of these can be constructed, without the bases of narrative, characterisation and the development of the structure of the performance emotionally nether can be produced. e soon began to notice how important it was to link the art forms if our piece was going to be professional.

Within a musical they are four key songs, the opening number sets the scene; our opening number was particularly effective of setting the scene and giving an overview of the story line with the lyrics building on characterisation. The 11 O’clock number is typically a ballad or a comedy. In our 11 o’clock number the main character, the mum, undergoes a major emotional moment that brings the musical to a climax.

Inspiring eleven o’clock numbers includes “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” from My Fair Lady. The term is from the days when all musicals started at 8:30 PM and had to have a climactic song around 11:00, because it was desirable to have audiences leave not long after 11:00. The wanting song, this expressed all our character longing for different things, such as love or excitement or simple respect. For example Oliver! Has at least three Wanting Songs: “Food, Glorious Food” just like Olivers ‘Food, glorious Food’ our I want song was also comical.

Our songs were mixed between major and minor keys this was effective at portraying the emotional rollercoaster the characters were on, for example, our I want number had an energetic and punchy rhythm, lyrics and melody, were as, our 11 o’clock number gave off a more sombre atmosphere making each scene juxtapose to the next. Our song lyrics, accompanied by the key of the harmonies, had great emotionally effect portraying the characters feelings successfully to the audience making them feel more emotionally involved with the narrative, further developing our musical realistically.

The choreographic content of our piece also aided the emotional shifts in the songs and drama, helping the musical flow coherently from one scene to the next. When all the improvisation was polished enough we began rehearsing the musical coherently which we hadn’t yet done as we had been rehearsing the different art forms separately, so in our rehearsal we prioritised making sure the link between scene flowed effectively we did this by making sure we knew our lines, ensuring the songs were pitch faultless and perfecting dance routines making sure we were all in unison when needed to be.

When we began rehearsing we found this harder than we had planned for, leaving us with much polishing to do, for example, many of our dances we complex both in movement and timing, making it difficult to stay in unison and make sure we flowed to our next positions on stage . Another problem was maintaining our rounded characters, sometime we would slip into the stereotypical side of our characters such as a typical stroppy teenager or annoying little sister.

To improve this we used mirrors to maintain unison and slowly worked away from the mirrors as we would not have them on the night, however, when the mirror were in use one of us stood and watched or spoke the counts of eight, giving constructive criticism. To maintain our rounded characters we looked into our own family lives and how our family reacted to certain situation, we applied this experience to our musical, making our characters less stereotypical and more realistic.

After this we found some scenes were more polished and sleek then other to balance out the quality of each scene we rehearsed the ones we were less confident of more frequently. I think our performance was a success as we achieved what we aimed to do, which was educate the audience about the occupation and what everyday life was like for families and to make our musical entertaining for all age groups in the general public .

I feel our performance ran smoothly and everyone remembered their lines. Unison and cannon were performed on time. I think our characters were easily recognisable and the audience reacted to them appropriately. Our theme of love was well portrayed by Laney as that section of our show was realistic and rounded. Though something we could have improved on was improving our characters, we could have done this by working together to create all characters and then split them between us.

If we had to devise the performance again I think we would use proxemics more effectively to portray the relationships bounds between each character to the audience more efficiently, furthermore I believe we should of included more harmonies in our musical numbers as when we did do them they worked successfully and created depth and emotion. We effectively danced in unison this created a real sense of unity between the family even when the everts in the narrative reach an all time low, but to balance the out we also used cannon to show although the family were unified the still had their individual traits.

Overall, I think our final piece was high-quality as we all put so much time and effort into our musical. Our aims were to professionally educate and entertain the general public, this we did with success. This was clear as the audience too felt the emotional on goings during the performance. We successful engaged the audience by breaking the fourth wall, having strong and punchy dances which juxtaposed with some of the soft lyrics. We used a wide range of techniques to create tension and atmospheric emotion which effectively portrayed our dramatic ability to the audience.