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Animal Farm Review

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Title: Animal Farm, Production Company: Guy Masterson Productions,

Director: Tony Boncza Date Viewed: 28th March 2007, Venue: Holden St Theatres

Tony Boncza's political satire, Animal Farm, is a play that illustrates the corruption found at the heart of humanity. Using voice and movement Gary Shelford made it a one man show. The play is about a farm that has been neglected by the owner, Mr Jones. The animals decided to take over and bring in a system called animalism. The Pigs being the most intelligent of all of the animals became the leaders of the group but because inevitable corruption the pigs came to represent man, the one thing that the animals tried to escape from in the first place.

The set was minimal. Using only a bowler hat, cane and box Shelford created an image of a barn, a pub and a windmill in our heads. Using the box Gary Shelford created a platform for the pigs to stand on which also showed status, a bed and the windmill base. The lighting played a massive part in creating the images in our heads. By using a softer yellow light and a narrative script the barn was created in our heads. By using a red light it represented danger and evil in the play. A red light as used when some of the innocent animals were being murdered by Napoleon and when there was a fire whereas a blue light was to show that it was winter and misery among the animals like when the windmill was destroyed. Different shadowing using the lighting was used to create a dark and dim mood when the commandments for Ð''animalism' were being recited and in the most disturbing scene when the pigs became like humans by standing on their hind legs and wearing clothes. Sound also played a big part in creating the images. The screeching, howling noises helped create the imagery of the animals being murdered by the dogs on Napoleons command. There were also noises of the storms that happened and that destroyed the windmill. The crashing noise of the windmill falling helped create the images.

Gary Shelford relied on voice, tone and movement to create all of the different characters as it was a one man show. He played three bores called Napoleon, Squealer and Snowball. Because they all had very different personalities he had to distinguish the difference between all of them. Shelford created Napoleon by standing very straight up and leaning back he looked very confident and pompous. He also had his hands clenched making him look determined and conceited. He was portrayed as an arrogant character that had his interests before everyone else's whereas snowball was portrayed as a kind hearted, nice character that had the other animals interests at heart. Through out the play Napoleon became a hated character who used vicious dogs against the other animals to stop them

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