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My performance critique unit 28 musical theatre criteria 4

Our house the musical

Performed: 27th-31st of March

Grace Parkin-Galway- Sarah

In this years school production of our house the musical, I played the role of Sarah who is
Joe’s love interest for the majority of the show, and her dream is to become a lawyer. Sarah
is 16 at the beginning of the play and she grows throughout along with the rest of the
characters then at the very end she returns to the age of 16. She is a very sassy girl and this
is shown more in the bad world towards Joe and her softer side comes out more towards
Joe in the good world.

Vocal quality: how effective is the performer’s use of voice in terms of intonation, diction,
projection, characterisation, clarity; for singing: the accuracy of pitch, rhythm, stylistic
appropriateness and use of dramatic range?

I decided to give Sarah a cockney accent as she lives in Camden but I didn’t make the accent
too broad as she is of a higher class than the other characters she associates with. For the
majority of the time I tried to use a soft voice as I wanted to portray her as quite a calm
character I did this by lowering the volume but keeping it loud enough so that I could be
heard, I also spoke with a higher pitch to what I would normally do which really challenged
me because it made me concentrate to try and not come out of character. Sarah goes
through a lot of different emotions throughout the play, for example in the scene when Joe
and Sarah break into the apartment, sarahs blazer gets ripped by a policeman and she finds
joe which then they continue to run until they lose the police. Joe asks sarah if she is alright
and she replies back with “I cant believe you did that, I cant believe you just ran away. I
thought I knew you, I don’t know you at all”. I said this as if I was scared and shocked, to
show this I increased the pace and I deepened the tone to show I was being serious. The
next line sarah says is “a policeman did that joe, that’s how close I was. I bet you didn’t even
notice, you were half way across the building site”. I changed the tone in my voice to express
the annoyance she felt for him, I increased the volume so that I was shouting and I said it at
a mutual pace. The last line sarah has in the scene is “maybe I’m not cut out for law, maybe
I’m not such a good judge of character” I said this with a higher pitch than what I said the
other lines with, I sharpened the way I said this line to show that sarah has been hurt
because of joes stupidity. I tried to show a contrast in every scene I spoke in so that I could
keep the audience engaged. I also had to time dialogue with music in some scenes which I
found difficult at first but as I practiced and listened to the music more.

Our house was the first musical number that I was involved in and as this one being the first
number it had to have lots of energy. The range of this song didn’t go very high so I felt very
comfortable singing it. near the end of the number the song splits off into two, one part
continuing to sing the chorus of our house and the other part singing the chorus of house of
fun, I continued singing the our house chorus with Owen who played the part of Joe and the
rest of the cast sang the other part. As there was only me and owen singing that part we had
to be loud and clear, one way I tried to do this was by keeping each word short so that it
sounded tighter, I also didn’t move a lot so that I could concentrate in keeping my diaphragm
engaged. I think this number was always very successful after every show and it always
created a good atmosphere.

Tomorrows just another day is the number that ends act one and it shows a great contrast
during it as it switches from both good world and bad world. The song ‘the sun and the rain’
comes into this number and sarah and joe have to sing the chorus while the ensemble
continue to sing ‘tomorrows just another day’. I had to harmonise with owen each time we
sang the chorus or ‘the sun and the rain’ but it kept moving an octave up, there wasn’t much
movement which really helped me get the right volume level that would blend with owens
voice and also I had to remember my harmony line, I remember when we first started
learning the song I recorded my harmony line so that I could listen over it before rehearsals
and we would also go through some numbers in lessons where I began to memorize the
harmonies I had.

NW5 is sarahs big number in the show that she sings with joes dad. This number is about
sarah leaving joe because she doesn’t like the person he has become which makes her angry
and sad and in the song she says she will always love him but she has to let him go. I loved
performing this song, I feel like I could really add my own style to get sarahs feelings across
and I did this by emphasising certain words such as on the line “though you have become a
burden one thing remains that’s for certain” I deepened my voice and raised the volume
slightly on “one” because I wanted to show anger as sarah feels irritated by joes decisions.
To make this number different to the stage versions we had seen we decided to incorporate
joe and kath to the song and kath and dad are both feeling let down by joe. This was a very
successful idea because it became such a powerful number by the end when sarah and kath
sing together and joe and dad sing together and it just blended as we all had the right
amount of volume and all harmonies fit perfectly each performance. At the very end kath
dad and joe left me on stage where I sung the last line “for that smile”, the note on smile
was high for my range but to make sure I hit it I did vocal range exercises such as going up
and down the scale and diaphragm exercises to build up the strength to actually hold a
higher note on. I was successful in doing this because each performance I hit the note and I
maintained it at the same level I had been singing at. To make that line sound more effective
I decided to soften my voice and take a 1 second pause before I sang “smile”, I used that
pause to show the frustration and anger that sarah felt and tured it into sadness as it
sounded so innocent.

In the number it muct be love sarah has come to find joe to give him to deeds for the house
that his dad took, yet when he starts talking she realises how much she misses and truly
loves him. This song took a while to get right as there is a lot of overlapping dialogue
between sarsh and joe, when sarah sings joe starts having a conversation with her and then
joe starts singing and sarah starts having a conversation with her. It was all to do with timing
and so I decided to