Essay, 13 pages (3000 words)

My england by clifford oliver

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My England tells the story of three characters who speak in monologues, describing what happens at the England-Tunisia friendly international football match. At the beginning we firstly see Neville Lawrence sat down. He announces the name of the play “ My England,” and goes onto say that the play is about a black man and a white man. The camera shows a close up of Neville’s face, this shows how serious he is. It tells the audience to listen to what he is going to say. Neville Lawrence is the father of Stephen Lawrence who a few years ago was brutally stabbed to death by six other white men just because of the colour of his skin.

Consequently this play is dedicated to Stephen Lawrence and that the play will also include racism. Now that the audience have a clear view of the production they should be able to identify that this 20th century drama play is realistic and relevant to their own lives. My England challenges and entertains the audience by introducing three different characters who all have varying personalities. One of the characters is Ant. At the start of the play Ant’s true colours shine through straightaway. His character portrays a stereotypical white supporter. He is loud and aggressive and a football hooligan.

Ant is the sort of “ macho man” who tries to look hard. At the football match, as he chants he changes the tone of his voice, it becomes rougher then what it was. He realizes he has to keep up this hard man voice as this may intimidate the other supporters making them back down through fear. To fit in with his thuggish image he cries out racial comments that offend non-white people. We see Ant as a man who didn’t have a stable background, so it seems that he has been brought up to be racist. Ant will have been taught that black people are inferior. Another supporter at the football match is Tony.

His voice reflects that he is well educated who is brimming with confidence. This exhibits that he doesn’t swear much, and speaks Standard English. Tony is ambitious, he doesn’t want any trouble, he is just there to watch the football. Tony’s mature and firm attitude is visible throughout the play and this causes problems because of the colour of his skin. The last character at the football game is Laura. Being a police officer points out many aspects of her job. She has to be self-assured and responsible. The audience distinguishes that Laura has authority, answerability and importance.

She arrives at the match feeling nervous. This informs the audience Laura’s approach to the match, it manifests her feelings and by the uncertainty in he voice it discloses the apprehensive uneasy side of her. We now perceive our first glimpse of Ant. Instantly, we regard him by his appearance that he is a loud, noisy hooligan. He wears an England flag with the St George’s cross on, tied around his neck. His arms are stretched out pointing his fingers, signifying to the audience that he supports England. The audience should fathom that in My England costume is very important.

Ant’s clothing is prominent; it expresses patriotism, it is associated and linked with the racist political attitude of certain groups such as the British National Party. He shouts out the word “ Ingerland” five times and then goes onto say, “ It’s ten o’clock. It’s Saturday morning. I’ve had a hard week. I’ve been looking forward to this. It’s Tunisia at Wembly. It’s only a friendly. No it’s not; there’s more to it than that. ” The audience hears Ant’s voice for the first time. As he shouts England over and over again the camera draws nearer to his face.

This may affect some of the audience by making them back down. From what the audience is viewing it informs them what a typical football hooligan Ant is. The audience have their first perception of Laura. She questions the audience by asking them things like, “ Do I look a bit pale? ” “ Do you think they’ve noticed? ” Do you think they can see me? ” This notifies the audience that Laura seems a bag of nerves! Laura says one thing like “ I’m not scared,” and then changes her attitude again briskly and says to the audience “ but that’s what they’ll think. I mustn’t let them see.

Her feelings are mixed in the way she speaks. Then she goes onto say “ There’s a hand on my arm,” She not only reveals her feelings to the audience but she tells them what is going on. She creates an atmosphere of what is happening on the bus. It gives the audience a contemplated theory in their minds of what might be occurring. She acts out another person saying, “ are you alright? ” She replies “ Yeah, course I am. ” “ First big game? ” This, perhaps, will affect the audience by making them think that they are questioning Laura but really they aren’t. Then we observe the final character Tony.

He speaks positively, he is rather determined and persistent. He creates a kind of “ mini-story” in what he says to the audience. He says, “ At the wheel of the Beamer I’m King Tony the first of Bavaria and my motor verks. ” By what he confides, it devises a mood to the audience in which Tony is happy, he is enjoying driving in his car. His blissful humour rubs off on the audience by making them feel like he does. But then there is a sudden jolt in his story. He goes on to say, “ Not that that stops the law stopping me. “ Get out of the car son. ” “ Son? ” “ I’m not your son.

Is there a problem officer? That’s what we’re here to find out. There is a downfall now. The audience sees Tony act out the role of a Police officer. Tony goes onto say “ Did I turn a red light? Did I go too fast? Am I guilty of having a car you can’t afford or is this a simple case of DWB-Driving Whilst Black? ” The audience now should have identified the first bit of racism in the play, “ Boy” and Tony’s quote of driving whilst black. The audience will be able to regard from what Tony has just said that this play will have problems with Tony. His attitude changes from being cheerful to resentful.

From the moment police officer says the word “ Boy” it is obvious Tony has heard this sort of jargon before. It affects the audience by them becoming aware of seeing what Tony says from his point of view. The play proceeds with Ant, Tony and Laura talking about what is happening to them on the way to the football game. Ant says, “ You look forward, you see all the heads marching like an army, and it’s great. ” At this point it shows how delighted Ant is. He talks very positively. The language he uses is definitely informal English. He speaks as if he’s in a rush as the audience can hear the excitement in his voice is getting the best of him.

The affects the audience by making them feel that they are the prey to his hooliganism. He wants them to feel like he does at that moment. All three characters arrive at the game. Laura still appears anxious. She says that when she is at the police station everything is ok everyone knows her. “ But here, here there are hundreds of us and no one stands out. ” But we do hear a few words from Laura, which emphasize her tolerant and sarcastic attitude. “ The noise is deafening but I hear them shout “ hello darling, get your tits out for the lads. ” Ooh, that’s a good idea, shall I? No, on second thoughts better not. Morons.

Laura discloses to the audience about the atmosphere that the crowd is in full voice plus she questions the audience. She asks them an ironic but amusing question and this affects them by making them laugh as they see she could do something like this, but on second thoughts as she is a police officer and at a football game she agrees that it wouldn’t go down well. When the national anthems begin to play, Ant again grumbles when the others teams national anthem begin. He says “ Then it’s theirs- some wog tune starts up that no-one could sing if you paid them, so we boo and we hiss and we whistle and we show them.

We are the England! ” This indicates Ant’s first detection of racism. The word “ Wog” is probably what they would expect to hear from him. It brings out Ant’s moral attitude toward other countries and he doesn’t have any respect for the opposition. This affects the audience by making them detest Ant, additionally. They see he only cares about himself and “ his England. ” Then the game starts and all the characters are at the football ground. Ant uses his eyes to show the audience he is looking up at all the other supporters even though there is nobody there except him, Tony and Laura.

Dramatic tension is created when England score an early goal. Ant goes berserk, he shouts out “ You’re not singing, you’re not singing, you’re not singing anymore! ” Ant continues to chant racial remarks to the Tunisia supporters and players and even people who are supporting England. “ Referee! ” Did you see that? You cheating black slag get him off! The audience hear by what Ant has just said that every time he repeats something racist it gives them a true reason to hate Ant even more. This affects the audience by making Ant’s character believable and not wanting to meet someone like him in real life.

It gets to the point where Tony cannot take anymore of Ant’s racist rubbish. He angrily says “ There’s a geezer, a white geezer, a few rows from me. Keeps standing up, shouting, racist crap, keeps shouting. Sit down! Then it’s me. “ Who let the monkey in here? ” What did you call me? He can’t do that. ” Naturally at this point Tony becomes somewhat furious. He isn’t going to tolerate someone shouting racial statements like “ Who let the monkey in here? ” It shows a different side of Tony to how he has gone from being calm and collected to becoming extremely cross. This affects the audience by seeing a stronger side of Tony.

The audience sees him at the beginning as a relaxed person but as the play has progressed Tony has seemed to become more assertive and now only at this point he is furious. But Tony does go too far when he says “ Oi! “ Steward, can you hear? ” “ All right mate, take it easy. ” Why should I? Do your job. All right mate, take it easy. Do your job. “ All right mate, take it easy. ” Do your job. The audience now sees Tony has got a steward involved to try and stop Ant causing anymore disturbance. It makes them feel sorry for Tony because the steward doesn’t seem to want to help, all the steward can say is “ take it easy.

Of course this makes Tony outraged because he wants something done about it. The audience observe that the steward is just as useful as Ant. During the conflict between Tony and the steward, Laura comes and arrests Tony and takes him away. Meanwhile Ant continues to chant racial abuse. As Tony is taken away Ant becomes worried as Tunisia start to attack. He chants racial comments out to the Tunisia supporters and tells them “ Shut up you nigger scum, get back to Africa with the rest of the monkeys! ” He makes monkey noises to signify this. Then there is a dramatic change in the play all of a sudden Ant then tells the audience “ What?

There’s a hand on my shoulder. What have I done? You’re joking, get off me, get off me! ” And they’re taking me out and the others are laughing. From the episode that has just happened with Ant it will affect the audience in different ways. Some will be thrilled to see Ant, after all the commotion he has produced finally getting his comeuppance. It will be a relief to see Ant depart. It mainly tricks the audience into wondering what will happen next. After they have been arrested the staging changes and we have minimal set two benches signifying a police cell in Wembley stadium.

All the characters are brought together now. At first Ant reacts to Tony in an aggressive sort of way and he also moans at him. Tony says, “ I am not in good mood so just give it a rest will you? ” After that their love of football is brought together. Ant judges Tony’s clothing (England gear) instead he sees him as an England supporter. As they both talk Ant’s tone of his voice changes, as he is football fanatic he shows action in the way he speaks and moves.

He demonstrates Paul Scholes scoring, “ Scholes heads it down past the keeper and it’s a goal! Tony retorts with “ You ought to be out there. ” This makes the audience think differently about Ant, he is very passionate about football, and if he got rid of his racist side he would be a better person to know. Perhaps Tony slightly sympathizes with Ant here. Ant talks to Tony using slang-words. Tony responds normally with formal English, his education reflects his use of language. As the audience knows Laura is a policewoman her uniform expresses a particular attitude, authority. The colour of her uniform is black it makes her stand out from the crowd and it also indicates a mood.

Laura feels that she is in charge of both of them as they are in her space. Ant tries to make her look small by expressing comments, which are rather sexist. Laura however stands her ground as the audience discern as she crosses her arms her outside appearance shows power and status, her eye contact is fixed firmly on Ant. This makes the audience feel that she won’t be pushed around and makes them feel nervous. Ant asks Tony “ What do you do? ” Tony replies, “ Oh, I, er, I work for a law firm,” Ant then says “ So what you run errands, make the tea.

Tony knows what answer he will get from Ant he seess it coming so he just agrees with him. He knows Ant is racist and tries not to let it get to him. Ant believes he couldn’t do any better then this. Additionally Ant judges the colour of Tony’s skin, it shows his prejudice attitude. Tony literally flinches quickly at changing the subject even though he thinks to himself what a moron. They both continue to have their conversation. This time Ant goes too far. He shows Tony his West Ham tattoo. He says “ You don’t see many of your lot with them, I suppose they don’t show up.

By what Ant has just said it affects the audience by seeing that Ant will never change, it makes the audience feel that the play is real life. Tony does think, though, Ant can’t be that racist so he says “ What city supporters? ” Ant replies “ No coons. ” At this point Tony becomes angry and upset he stands up and takes off his shirt. It affects the audience by seeing Tony make a stance. At the mention of the word “ coon,” the action changes to introduce the “ chorus” figure Neville Lawrence. He talks about his experience of being insulted by racist language.

He talks about if someone calls a black man a monkey then a monkey eats bananas. This juxtaposition of the action and the chorus creates dramatic irony. This man’s son was killed by racist people. After this we see Tony go back through time and graphically relives the day his ancestor was caught as a young lad on the West coast of Africa taken into slavery. The audience then hear Ant shout “ Nurse! ” They can tell quickly he is relating to Laura in a sexist and comical way. Tony eventually puts his shirt back on. He was trying to make a point which Ant doesn’t seem to understand.

Tony begins to sing the Camptown races song, he pretends to be a coon. The message he tries to tell Ant doesn’t work Ant doesn’t understand what Tony’s doing. As the play progresses it continues to bring issues up of racism. Then Ant asks Tony to name your all time best eleven England players. Tony replies Arthur Wharton who was a goalkeeper around in the eighteen eighties and didn’t make the England team because he was black . Then Ant shows Tony that he used to do martial Arts. This tells the audience he is trying to get back on track with him. He wants to impress him with his physical strength as Tony has beaten him intellectually.

The sequence leading up to Ant’s childhood shows him making a rather feeble show of himself he tries to prove himself to Tony as he sees him as a rival. Tony is impressed but Ant says to Tony “ If you went to a school like mine you’d want to protect yourself. ” This is when there is a flashback Ant goes back to his school days of misunderstanding, violence and physical abuse. The flashback is about Ant being represented as an eleven year old boy at school who comes home to his mum with his blazer all dirty he has been involved in a fight too. He starts to feel nervous and afraid as he explains the story to Tony.

He also becomes a different character when he acts out his mum, the tone of voice he portrays sounds soft yet harsh. Ant uses his eyes as an innocence part to express his guilelessness. When Ant depicts his dad he uses a hard stare which looks frightening. Right at the end of the flashback Ant’s face is a lot darker then before his eyes are grim and his teeth are clenched. His dad says, “ Next time, hit him first. ” The fight Ant was involved in was between him and an Asian which Ant’s dad didn’t approve and seeing Ant with a black eye. So his dad gives him a taste of his own medicine and hits him.

This episode of Ant’s childhood will affect them by making them feel sorry for Ant. It makes them pity him. It teaches us much about Ant’s past that he hasn’t grown up much. His dad has brought him up to be racist. As it draws nearer to the end of the play Tony and Ant end up having a fight and get arrested by Laura. “ If you don’t like it you shouldn’t of come,” This is the quote both Ant and Tony use. Ant tells Tony if he can’t take the racism at football matches he shouldn’t of come. Tony says that if you can’t accept that England is a multi-cultural society you shouldn’t of come.

The repetition of the phrase creates dramatic irony. This idea echoes the title of the play “ My England. ” The writer seems to be asking the almost rhetorical question “ who does England belong to? ” The audience has witnessed through Ant and Tony’s mutual love of football they have seen an insight into each other’s worlds and the tension rises showing this play has erupted into an explosive finish. At the end of the production we hear Bob Marley’s Redemption song. Redemption means to atone or make up for. The play is dedicated to the life of Stephen Lawrence.

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