Curious Incident Exam Questions - Design and Performance

PRIMARY NOTES

PERFORMANCE

Key Scene - Train Station

  1. Fluid movement
  2. Fast enough to have an impact and to be chaotic, but slow enough that it still seems like everything is moving at a realistic pace
  3. Use of contact with Christopher to emphasise his discomfort in the situation
  4. Members of the ensemble made remarks at Christopher, showing how he only focuses on certain things and not generic noises
  5. Scott Graham created a scene in which every physical aspect contrasted the suspected realism of the scene
  6. Use of the entire stage including the walls showing how things travel round and round his head
  7. Marianne Elliott intended for us to see how familiar situations such as going on the underground are seen so differently in his head
  8. The audience can be seen as Christopher's thoughts, so when Siobhan speaks to Christopher from the dress circle it's as if she is a subconscious, his Jiminy Cricket, helping and leading him through difficult situations; it's as if she is his logical sense of mind
  9. The same actors/actresses play different roles hints to how when Christopher doesn't recognise/understand something he attempts to familiarise it; another impact of a small performing company is that it really emphasises how Christopher only focuses on small numbers of and sometimes insignificant things rather than the whole picture
  10. Lack of expression in the ensemble to show how monotone they must seem at a glance to Christopher

Key Scene - Before and After Reading the Letters

  1. Christopher created focus as a contrast to his usual chaos by shining a light from him
  2. Lack of movement creates stillness in the audience and foreshadows a mental halt for Christopher
  3. Minimal use of space concentrates our focus on him and allows us a moment of intimacy with him and his father; Marianne Elliott would've wanted us as an audience to see his vulnerability and sense of shutdown because usually he would not allow this much contact for this amount of time with anyone
  4. Calm vocal tone from Father is another contrast in the stillness as we are shown a new compassionate side to him

DESIGN

Key Scene - Detecting in Swindon

  1. Christopher's thought process and plans being projected onto the stage to show how what happens in his brain is what he wants to be happening at that moment in time
  2. Ensemble movements are all emphasised and have a stylised-realism showing his different perception of his world
  3. Paule Constable uses small elements of coloured lighting to emphasise certain moments along with highlighting the area with square/rectangular spotlights to fit the area
  4. Geometric shapes used throughout the scene to show Christopher's mathematically driven mind
  5. No background noise, just what he is listening to at the time once again portraying his hyperfocus

Key Scene - Train Station

  1. Bunnie Christie manipulates the set to really draw the audience's focus onto Marianne Elliott's key moments; also, when the set is seen as his mind, it is as if he is becoming trapped in his own brain/thoughts
  2. Constantly moving white lighting creating a sense of chaos for Christopher as well as the audience as we are as equally affected as he is
  3. In amongst the neutral colours of the ensemble's costumes, Christopher brightly coloured coat and trousers once again isolate him from society as a group
  4. Very overwhelming use of sound

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