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How Would You Perform The Role Of Nora In The Opening Section Of The Play In Order To Achieve Your Preferred Effects For The Audience? (A Doll's House)

2225 words - 9 pages

How would you perform the role of Nora in the opening section of the play in order to achieve your preferred effects for an audience?

In the opening section of “A Doll’s House,” I would enter shivering from out of the brumal cold of a Norwegian Winter in a thick, but stylish coat, which I would doff to reveal an all-encompassing dress of the period with ivy green ornate frills to indicate Nora’s primary purpose of appearing pretty. Around my neck would be a velvet ribbon tied tightly which, along with my complete skin coverage and taut corset, would emphasise the relentless social pressures of the 18th century as well as the constriction Nora feels in her marriage; however the stiffness ...view middle of the document...

I would also speak in an RP accent to hark back to Nora’s social status and class, but with a yo-yoing pitch and volume throughout to reflect her childish innocence and naivety.
Then later on when “she puts the macaroons in her pocket and wipes her mouth” I will be three quarters on and at the left end of the stage, preferably a proscenium arch, so that all the audience can fully see me as I stoop down, shoulders pointing inwards and back bent, as much as the rigid costume would allow, with my head darting from side to side and a set of searching eyes, scanning not just the set but the whole room to make sure Helmer cannot see. Holding the macaroons in one hand, with the other I would pick one out, slowly, almost sensuously as she’s breaking Helmer’s rules (which to her are almost holy orders) and really enjoys the risk, not caring about sweets rotting her teeth; it’s almost blasphemy for her to go against her husband and Nora’s sneaky selection of a macaroon, along with the exaggerated, hurried mastication of it, would convey to the audience Nora’s doing something wrong, even though Helmer hasn’t appeared and scolded Nora for it. This would be aided by my nervous smile that flickers from frown to smile and back again to imply her indecision, leaving the audience wondering why someone should be so worried about eating a biscuit, making them a tiny tad curious. There is also something squirrel-like to the movement of being bent over and nibbling which reflects the script but the audience may feel some slight humour as Nora looks for anyone in case she’s being viewed eating the sweets yet the dramatic irony is that the whole audience can see her.
Following this, when Helmer proposes the hypothetical scenario that “a tile falls on my [his] head” I would look away from him, breaking the eye contact we had already established, with a supreme sadness in my eyes, possibly hinting at tears, because of Nora’s melodramatic, childlike character. I would slap my hand slowly over my mouth, as if it’s actually happened, which would hint at her sheltered life, but also showing her care for Helmer that she exhibits through working and taking out a loan for him. I would shake my head from side to side, still with my hand over my mouth and a hurt expression on my face – sunken eyebrows and drooping lips – before I say “don’t say that” with a dejected tone and as quickly as possible while still being audible, all in one breath, to express how speedily she wants to drop the subject, to the audience. Then I would also clap my hands over my ears and bow my head down from him, like a child who doesn’t want to listen, again reflecting Nora’s childishness, which is only magnified by the sanctimonious, mocking smile of Helmer.
However this contrasts entirely with what the audience see later when Helmer presents Nora with his wallet as he shakes it. I would whip my head around to face him (“turning quickly”), fast as if I’ve been slapped, but with a beaming grin...

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