I am going to discus how I would play John in scene 16 of Blue Remembered Hills.
Firstly John is a seven year old boy so I would have to talk with a much higher voice. Also he is from the Forest of dean so I would have to talk with a West Country accent I can also see this from the colloquial language Potter has used to write the play. So I would try and maintain this throughout the scene.
Young children find it hard to stay still they are almost always moving or fiddling with something. I would have to keep this up throughout the scene. Young children also loose focus easily and get distracted by little things that they might see so when John is not doing anything I would pick up something and play with it.
John has the highest status in the play as he and Peter had a fight and John won.
I would have John wearing grey school shorts, a white t-shirt and old scruffy black shoes to show they are the only pair he has and he cant afford a new pair.
At the beginning of scene 16 John, Willie, Raymond, Audrey and Angela have heard the siren to show a prisoner of war has escaped and they have found a hollow and jumped into it to hide. They have been running so they are out of breath so I would have John gasping for air for the first few seconds of the scene. I would have the two girls cuddling onto John and the other boys to one side to she that the girls think John is the bravest.
I think at the beginning of the scene John is very scared but because the girls are there he is trying to hide it. I think he is scared because he is only a child and he thinks there is an “escaped wop” after them. As he has the highest status he doesn’t want to loose it he doesn’t want to show that he is scared. To show this I would speak fast witch is one of the main things people do when they are scared but also put on a bold voice by talking louder. I would also put on a fake, half smile. After saying “This is nice and safe” I would smile and look around then stop smiling and say “Ennit” and look around for an answer. When Raymond says “Till d-dark shall us” I would take a second to think about it and then gulp and shiver at the thought I would stare at the floor for a second before saying “They’ll have the guards out after him. They’ll soon catch him.”
When Angela starts crying about the pram I think John is annoyed. To show this I would sigh and look away as that is what most adults do when they are annoyed and John would like to look grown up. I would then say “oh we’ll go and get the pram” quite loud and snappy to show that I am frustrated, then I would hesitate and realise that I had just said I will go out and get it and then say “in a minute” to make them forget about it. When Willie says “who will” I would lick my lips and stop to think of a way to get myself out of the situation but not look too scared to go.
When Raymond says “must be d-du-dinner time.” I would look down at my stomach and rub it to show I am hungry. When Willie says “have a look over the top, John” I would look at him with wide eyes to show I am shocked and say “what” with a very high voice I would then shiver to show I am scared and look down at the floor after saying “in a minute” I would gulp to show I regret trying to be in charge. I would then pick up an twig, to show that I am trying to take my mind off the subject, and stare at it. After Audrey says “your not frightened are you” I would snap the twig to show a bit of anger and the throw it away while saying “course not.”
For the next few lines I would keep my head down and stare at the floor to show I am embarrassed and then when I say “shut your mouth, Audrey” I would look up at her and then look back down. Then when Audrey says “oy and Peter would an all” I would say “shut your cakehole” quietly but just loud enough for her to hear.
When they hear “the sound of someone running” I would hold on to the others and listen very carefully I would then freeze to show that I am very scared and put my finger to my mouth to tell the others to be quiet I would then be as still as I can.
When Peter jumps down into the hollow I would let go of everyone and out my hands up to protect myself. When Peter says “what are you doing down in there” I would look up shivering then pause for a second to show I am taking it all in and then say “Peter” and go very high at the end of his name.
For the next few lines I would sit there still not moving much and very shocked. When Peter asks if John was frightened I would make an angry face and scrunch up my eyes and mouth and say “Me? Corse I warn’t” quite loud and firmly staring into peters face. When Audrey says “yes him was” I would do the same angry face and say “you have, you mean” and look in her face for a few seconds and the look down at the floor to show I felt embarrassed.
When everyone starts talking about Donald duck I would look back up with a smile to show I am glad that the subject has changed an then I would laugh while saying “the sissy” and smile gladly until Angela says “and you be John” this would wipe the smile off my face and I would stand up and shout “that’s ‘cos we had you girls along, ennit?” an I would smile when Willie says “No” and when Raymond says “C-cu-course not” and sit back down. Then my smile would drop again when Audrey says “you wouldn’t even have a peep, John” when Peter says “s that right” I would stand up again and throw a stick on the floor and then shout “I got to look a’ter ’em enn I! This ‘ere I-talian or wop or whatever he calls hisself, might have a knife. Have you thought of that” I would then pick up a stick and point it at Peters face.
I would then pretend to be fighting someone with my stick and laugh when Willie says “stuck a knife in you”. I would then sit back down and make sure everyone is listening and tap them on the arm and say “he killed two or dree guards to get out of the camp. Slit their throats” I would say “slit their throats” while running the sick across my neck and then pretend to be dead