Effect of the Extract on the Audience

Effect of the Extract on the Audience

As has been mentioned in previous sections, you need to show an awareness of how the scenes would affect the audience. You may be expected to consider the following issues.

  • Do the audience feel the same about the characters or situation at the end of the scene as they did at the beginning? What causes their change?
  • What is the key dramatic moment in the scene?
  • Do the audience appreciate the significance of the scene at the time?
  • Do the characters speak directly to the audience, use asides, or speak to each other?
  • Is the audience being directly involved with the audience?
  • How does the playwright build up the tension during the extract?
  • Are there problems with staging the scene?
  • Does the playwright use descriptive language to describe events that would be difficult to portray on the stage?
  • Does the playwright use certain characters simply to develop the plot, rather than being of great interest in themselves?
  • How is irony used in the extract?
  • Does the author use covert, overt or dramatic irony?

An issue that you may be expected to consider is how the scene would be staged. In this case you need to consider the behaviour and appearance of the characters. For example:

  • At what time of day would you set the piece?

It is important that you justify your reason and relate it specifically to the scene. Consider use of the stage and lighting.

Thinking carefully about how you would stage a particular extract will help you to read the extract more closely. Many candidates write intelligently about a passage, but don't really acknowledge it as a piece of drama.

Thinking about staging the scene will help you to consider issues such as the response of the audience and dramatic tension. This in turn will improve your grade.

Note: Not all exam boards expect you to do this. Ask your English teacher if this is likely.