A play Dennis Potter Essay
A play Dennis Potter
Blue remembered hills is a play Dennis Potter. The title is taken from the poem ‘Shropshire lad’ by A. E Houseman. It challenges the perception that childhood is innocent and that all children are pure and ‘nice’. One of the ways he does this is by using adults to play children so the unrealisticness of the play forces adults to focus on the meaning of everything going on in the play. The main meaning of the play is focused around the mindless cruelty of war and how this affects children living through it.
The style of the play is flared narration. The play was originally a television play for the BBC in 1979. it was set in rural west country. For our play we are using bright lights to show that we are outside. We are also going to have some stones and sticks on the floor to play with to help us show the kid’s restlessness and constant movement. Could kick them etc. the setting is rural and in 1943 during the 2nd world war, this has affected the children a lot. There is a lot of racist speak about the ‘Ities’ and the ‘Japs’.
Then there are the games, also war related. Most of the games revolve around guns and violence. Lastly there is a lot of bragging that the boys do about what they are going to do in the army. In this essay I am also going to refer to ‘my mother said I never should’ by charlotte Keatley and ‘gum and goo’ by Howard Brenton. Charlotte Keatley was a feminist writer. My mother said I never should was first performed in 1087. In 1987 there were stronger roles for women and more active feminist movements in society.
The play represents the plight of women and how women were treated in society, both by men and each other. The scene where the women are talking about menstrual cramps or the ‘curse’ as they call it contrasts directly yet is similar to when the boys are talking about the war in blue remembered hills. Both plays show children discussing ‘taboo’ subjects in an open and careless way. Howard Brenton play ‘gum and goo’ was first performed in 1969. Adults didn’t understand learning difficulty’s as well as they do now, in 1006.
Ignorance leads to prejudice and eventually tragedy in gum and goo. This play is about an autistic girl who invents two friends, ‘gum and goo’, this character links directly to Raymond in blue remembered hills who has learning difficulties, maybe similar, but less severe to Michelle’s autism. . All three plays have adults playing children. This creates an objective distance so the unreality of the play is so obvious it doesn’t allow the audience to get absorbed into the play. This was the audience is forced to concentrate on the issues and the challenged perceptions of childhood.
Subject: Dennis Potter,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 12 September 2017
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