Simon Stephens – script analysis

My notes from the script analysis calls with Michael Abercrombie this week.

What I like about Stephens’ work is the way that his characters are not perfect. Far from it. In fact, they are flawed and are simply trying to make do with what they have. I like that a lot. No pretence. It’s realistic and confronting.

Text analysis – things to look for – whether we are reading Stephens or someone else.

Look at what’s being said, but also – what’s not being said. Stephens is very good at not saying things. He uses sparse language to emphasise the British trait of being polite and leaving things unsaid. In American plays, there would be a big confrontation around the kitchen table, but not in Stephens’ work. It’s useful to notice this and think about the script with this in mind.

I also like the use of the town of Stockport as a character. This is really interesting. It’s useful to think about how the town influences the action in the scene. How do the actors respond to this?

What are the relationships between the characters – including the town? How do the characters interact? Do they have history?

Use the stage directions. Be aware of them. They will help add shape and texture. Listen to what they are saying and how this translates to movement, relationship between characters etc.

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