Arts Review – Metamorphosis

At Bexhill College, I was also accustomed to watch a play by around 150 second years in which they performed ‘Metamorphosis’ as a split collective. My original impression on the play was that it was certainly well rehearsed, even more so than the Peter Pan performance a few months prior to this event.

The main focus however was not on the lines that the actors were going to have to present, but the actions that hey conveyed. Perfect timing, fluent movements and relaxed posture all whilst maintaining in character is certainly a difficult task to withstand when performing, especially in front of a large audience of around 300 people. In spite of this, I was surprised to see that the actors were unfazed by the amount of viewers watching and remained calm and collective as they moved around the stage presenting themselves in a natural and well flowing fashion, overall making the play fun to watch and easy to the eye. Striking me as a professional play that was going to last around an hour, I was prepared to watch the rest of the play as it was and be satisfied with the end product however there was a twist, suddenly all the current actors that had been introduced had been taken off stage and replaced with completely new ones. The play continued as though it never happened and many people in the audience were then puzzled as to which character was being played by which actor, in an act of reverse psychology the audience that was not paying attention to the beginning of the play was now forced into piecing together the parts that they had left out creating a false sense of interest into what was going on. This actually worked so effectively that by half way through, those who were paying little attention now were focusing on every last detail to help confirm their suspicions and actually found the play to be more enjoyable because of it. I believe that this effect is something that needs to be touched upon more within design, as it can effectively target and manipulate an audience that would not originally be interested in a design. By changing key elements but keeping the theme and message exactly the same, a design and in this case, a play can be drastically changed in terms of entertainment value, and in terms of appeal to an audience. I hope to actually recreate this effect in design to see how an audience will react to designs that change their view and perspective based on the changing factors within them. Alongside this effect, the cast being manipulated in such an obvious way started to give birth to an idea of competition within my head. ‘Which is the best actor?’ ‘Who suites their character the most?’ were questions that floated throughout my mind as the play continued as I wanted to know of all the different sequences in which the cast changed, what was my favourite and why? Entertainment value was certainly maintained throughout the performance for this reason. If I was to improve one thing from this performance, it would have been the speed in which the cast changed or the transition, as I would have found the play much more amusing had the cast suddenly changed, rather than pausing the performance in an obvious fashion. Overall I can conclude that manipulating elements within art are essential to appealing to different types of audiences, and to keep an audience entertained or satisfied with your artwork, you need to experiment with different techniques in an efficient way whilst remaining professional. I hope to achieve this mentality and work ethic as I pursue graphics in the future.

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