Erica and I had a discussion about developing my Sloane character further, in order to portray a convincing character in the short promotional film that Leah Sanders is making to market the show. I was originally going to play my character from Man of the Moment, Douglas but the film is about customers and staff at the club and Douglas doesn’t appear in the club he only appears on a projection. To solve this Leah suggested that I should play Mr Sloane instead but I had done little work on this character. I went to Erica who knows the play well to discuss how I could develop the character.
Firstly, we read through the Mr Sloane monologue, I have attached an annotated copy of the monologue below with how I think the monologue should now be read:
I wasn’t sure what role Mr Sloane played at the club (whether he is staff or a customer), and I wasn’t sure why he was doing a monologue and why Saint Jimmy introduced him as an act. I asked myself the question “In a Cabaret why would Mr Sloane get up on the stage and do a monologue?”, so we started to resolve this issue by discussing Sloane’s character:
- Mr. Sloane is attractive.
- Young and Ruthless.
- He has volatile relationships with each of the other characters in the play.
- Member of the working class.
After discussing what type of person Sloane is, we needed to decide what his job is. The content of the monologue is about Sloane murdering a man who gave him a place to stay. He is trying to make it sound like he had no choice but to kill this man, however, from reading the monologue the reader gets a sense that this isn’t initially true. We decided that Sloane would be on the stage talking about murder because he is a comedian at the club, but his comedy isn’t funny. This will make him come across insane, and hopefully make the audience very uncomfortable. I will now enter the stage as Mr. Sloane, playing the role of a comedian, but the audience will soon realize that this is not the case and what they first thought would be comedy would soon become an uncomfortable monologue, delivered by a psychopath. We also decided that maybe Sloane finds the things he is talking about extremely funny.
As a result of it being a Cabaret club I have decided to play Mr. Sloane in a completely different way, I have researched the character from the play but I wont be playing him as a psychotic lodger and as a comedian so I will need to research comedians. As a result we went on to discuss comedians who use offensive/sick jokes to entertain their audience, or just simple seem a little unbalanced. Erica listed a few for me to go away and research, the following are the comedians I researched to help me take on the persona of a slightly unbalanced comedian as there is also something slightly unstable about Mr. Sloane.
- Bill Hicks
- Frankie Boyle
- Jason Manford
- Eddie Izzard (Maybe a little to weird)
From watching Frankie Boyle on stage he has no remorse, he will say the most offensive things and his facial expression wont change, I think part of the reason audience members find it so hilarious is because they can’t believe what he has just said, something they would never dream of saying. I guess that the power of being a comedian you can say whatever you want up on stage. I think if I was in the front row of a Boyle show I would feel extremely uncomfortable, he is certainly unbalanced.
In contrast I then went on to watch Jason Manford, if I was in the front row of a Manford show I wouldn’t feel as uncomfortable, whereas Eddie Izzard who Erica said maybe a little to weird, I would certainly feel uncomfortable maybe because I don’t find him funny or just as Erica said he is very weird. In the video I watched of Izzard referenced below he starts his routine by talking about human sacrifice, perfect considering Sloane talks about beating a man to death. But there is something I have said about all of these comedians they all seem unstable. Are comedians slightly unbalanced people?
The MailOnline, have an interesting article about the history of several well known comedians and commented on how they have all suffered with mental health issues. The article title ‘Why comedians ARE a little bit mad: Funnymen’s personalities are similar to those with mental health conditions’ Jenny Hope comments on how Robin Williams who recently took his own life in 2014, suffered with depression, he was a very well known successful comedian and actor, she goes on to list many more successful comedians who have suffered similar states of depression or other mental health disorders. An interesting one that could help me with developing Sloane is Spike Milligan, she sums up as ‘Insane’ she goes on to explain that ‘Spike Milligan suffered years of paralysing manic depression. One of his psychiatrists judged him to be ‘certifiably insane’ and ‘a possible danger to others’
The links between comedians and mental health conditions will help me inform my character and the decision to do the monologue in the style of a comedian. It wouldn’t necessarily be unrealistic that Sloane would be insane similar to Milligan. I think the ability to make people laugh may come from tho ith some sort of personality disorder.
YouGotMalowned. (2012). The Most Offensive Jokes Ever. [Online Video]. 30 July 2012. Available from: https://youtu.be/h9DkK06zZ_o. [Accessed: 26 April 2017].
Just For Laughs. (2016). Eddie Izzard Stand Up – 2013. [Online Video]. 2 November 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_F2OHPK7pg. [Accessed: 26 April 2017].
TheInfoBrokerMan. (2011). Jason Manford His Best Ever Routine Part 1. [Online Video]. 14 January 2011. Available from: https://youtu.be/G1QUk9asJGE. [Accessed: 26 April 2017].
Mail Online. 2017. Comedians personalities are similar to those with mental health conditions | Daily Mail Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2540275/Comedians-personalities-similar-mental-health-conditions.html. [Accessed 27 Apr 2017].