Gallipoli Diaries Analysis

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The “Gallipoli Diaries” by Sally McKenzie is a contemporary performance which utilizes the One Person Show format and highlights the impact of World War One through the experiences of one Australian family. The one person show genre is defined as, “… A solo performance, featuring a comedian or actor on stage and entertains an audience.” (Wikipedia, 2015) and is a genre where the actor commonly breaks the fourth wall. The Gallipoli Diaries questions Australia’s involvement in the World War One and is highly effective in representing a wide array of political and social issues central to the theme, such as propaganda, profiteering, family, shame and loss. An investigation into the effectiveness of the manipulation of dramatic action to tell a…show more content…
The use of monologues is the primary device employed for this purpose, allowing the audience an insight into the struggles of the mothers anguish experience in the war, “Worried and waited. Waited and agitated.” Evident in the monologues are other techniques, one of which is the multimedia backdrops which added extra characters and exploration of a variety of points of views to the story. For example, using a multimedia background additionally added to the engagement of the audience in the themes and messages of war’s effect on families. The use of a spotlight on stage, cleverly hidden in the place of a coat hanger, lit up the actors facial expressions and recreated for the audience the atmosphere of war through transporting the audience to a specific time and place. The production incorporated the use of sound such as bagpipes, door knocks, boat horns, clapping from crowd, beagles and war sounds to allow the audience to become engaged in the more realistic sounds of wartime. Additionally, the actor plays narrator, mother and sergeant to allow the story to be told from multiple viewpoints, keeping the teenage audience engaged as the actor has to change characterisations. One noteworthy deviation from the usual Brechtian theatrical elements was the staging, which was more complicated than many non-realistic style plays, featuring a rug, chair and a hat hanger with a projector screen and a backdrop behind the actor. A final element used to link monologues together was the phase, “You would have had an honour”, which served to secure the theme of loss and war. These devices combined contributed to the effectiveness of the performance in communicating a
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