The performance ‘ Hoods’ by Barking Gecko Theatre Co. is a play about two young children, Jessie and Kyle, who create video game style situations to pass the time as they are left in the car by their mother. This play was performed at Thornlie Senior High School’s Performing Arts Centre on Friday the 1st of April 2011. It was a great honour to have this brilliant play shown to thehigh school studentsas it showed perseverance of the young children. The play was written by Angela Betzien and directed by Leticia Ca’ceres. The actors were Sam Longley and Andrea Gibbs, Sam who played Kyle and Andrea who played Jessie.
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The style in which the play was performed was presentational although there are some parts of realism because situations like these actually do happen. The actors played multiple characters and morphed into each one. The morphing shows visible changes of character. They had great versatility of characters and played each one with passion for the role. The facial expressions they used seemed to add to the way they acted and made us, as an audience believe their roles much more. Other presentational aspects include the use of direct address and poetic narration throughout the performance.
Jessie and Kyle’s mother leaves them and their baby brother (Troy) in the car as she went to the shops. Troy get sick and the children are fearful of their situation and go off to seek their grandmother. Their mother hadn’t actually forgotten about them but rather had been caught shoplifting for them and was taken away. The themes for ‘ Hoods’ would be child neglect, povertyanddomestic violence. The playwright had the intention of telling these children’s story to the audience. As children they don’t have the ability to tell people their situation and get help like adults can.
The intentions would be that they wrote the play with the intention of showing powerlessness, and making the characters feel vulnerable as they are so young and in situations we don’t expect children to be in, they delivered these very effectively. There are three main parts of the play where they are powerless, when the children are in the car trying to find their mum, when the counsellor has no power to take the children out and treat them and when the mother is powerless against the father’s violent ways. Their costumes were old and shaggy due to their setting being dirty and poverty stricken.
They both wore hoods which they either wore on or off their heads, depending on what character they were playing. The set contained very few objects, a box that acted as a car, the fenceand some chairs. This added to the deserted feel of the play. The lighting was dark with the main lighting in the middle, where most of the action took place. There were also few props, the baby, Jessie’s ‘ magic’ wand and even though it was clothing, Jessie’s jacket as it was something she never took off, like her comfort blanket. There were different sounds throughout the performance, such as, cars, sirens, explosions and dogs barking.
The stage at the high school was quite spacious giving the actors a chance to use it all, which they did perfectly. I really liked the performance, it was interesting and compelling. There was action, comedy and tragedy which all added to the performance’s appeal. It did start to get slightly boring toward the end but it think that was because it was quite long, but overall very good. I think most of the audience liked it due to the attention they payed and the amount of applause at the end. I would definitely recommend ‘ Hoods’ to anyone looking for a great play to watch.