Moll Flanders workshop - Sample Essay

Our improvisation assignment was based on Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, using what we researched and found out about it, and also ideas formed from watching the play itself at the Taliesin in Swansea. To start off with, we took the themes and issues into consideration: It was only from watching the play we began to get a real insight into the world which Moll was thrust into from an early age. Moll always strove to become someone with money and stability, something that she had always lacked from childhood, and from being born into no real family she felt that it was only going to be her body and her looks which would get her anywhere.

To start off with we looked into characterisation, and did monologues. The monologues each had something in common, they all were to do with an aspect of social status, and how people felt about themselves and their own. Each one of the class chose a monologue he/or she would perform, and they formed a part of the improvisation exam.

Using techniques learnt from the Moll Flanders workshop, our class then did a series of tableaux, involving scenes from a jail, stage coach, roman baths and a stately home. Splitting the class in two, our group consisted of myself, Liz S, Lol, Alex, Medir and Emma Marie. I found our group worked well together, though certain members had more ideas and were more dominating than others, but that was needed as part of the groups dynamic. In our group, in the jail scene of the tableaux, there was good use of floor space, and the different levels made it more interesting to look at, going into the stagecoach, there were also different levels, and good awareness of facial expressions on everyone’s part.

The roman bath scene in both groups both had an element of humour, with the males of the group having ‘adoring’ females draped over them. The stately home I found the least interesting of the tableaux parts as there appeared to be little going on in either groups rendition. In observing the other group, their dynamic appeared to work well too. Timing was extremely accurate and they all worked well together, and when it came to the final exam became very apparent