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Sample essay topic, essay writing: John Worthing Critique - 1121 words
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I chose to evaluate the acting of Jason Dormeyer, who played John Worthing. I want to say first of all that even though the main points mentioned in this paper will be negative, the performance of Jack was quite convincing and carried out very well. The actor seemed very uptight whenever he was on stage. Luckily, being uptight works with the character of Jack. His jaw and his neck seemed to be tense during the performance.
Jason's voice, however, does not seem to suffer because of that. The fact that he is uptight tends to put me on edge in the audience. I started to feel less comfortable and get somewhat tense because of this. Jason rushes too much. He needs to slow down and enunciate more to make his lines more audible. I don't want him to lose any of the energy that he has, but I do wish that he would take more time to give more clarity to the words. A good example of this is the way that the line, "..while I'm in this horrible trouble," is rushed trough
I believe that the line is in the second act during the muffin scene. It was not hard to figure out what was being said, but it did take more effort to understand. The clarity of Jack's relationships was good. Jack and Algernon were definitely friends that have known each other for a while. They were comfortable enough with each other to argue and tell faults, while knowing that they would still remain friends. Jack was also very clear on his relationship with Gwendolyn.
She was obviously of romantic interest with him because of the way he saw to her every need. A good example is when she first walks in and Jack says, "you are quite perfect Miss Fairfax." This is also displayed well when Jack fills Gwendolyn's teacup. He jumps up with great haste when she hands the cup to him. I was confused on the relationship with Lady Bracknell, though. She was clearly Jacks superior, yet Jack acted somewhat indifferent and overconfident while talking to her about his childhood and social standing. I felt that he could have been reminded of his social standing at times like the "Good morning!" line.
Jack is trying to obtain consent to marry her daughter. The age of John Worthing was very consistent throughout the play. I do wish, however, that he had stretched it a bit more during the muffin scene. In rehearsal, the actors performed that part more like little boys than they did during the last weekend of the production. That is just a personal preference. I also liked the pout more than the anger at the very end of the scene when Jack says, for the last time, something along the lines of, "Algy, I wish to goodness you would go." It is just a lot funnier when played with the little boy pout.
I thought that the obstacles were well set. I felt that the obstacle of Jack's name with Gwendolyn was especially effective in his behavior. In the first act, the mention of his name being Ernest sent Jack into a state with altered voice, breath, movement and expression. That read very well and helped the comic essence of the play. The objectives of Jack appeared to be at hand during the whole play. The character is all business, so he keeps the priorities in order. Jason used a couple mannerisms that I found quite distracting.
The first is the way that Jack always put his one arm behind his back. That did seem a good character choice, but I was drawn away from the plot every time he did it. The other mannerism I will mention is the forced frown that always appears on Jack's face. It feels very unnatural when I do it, so it looks unnatural to me. The lines involving anger on Jack's part were a little weird.
Every time that he was mad, Jack would shout the lines with a huge amount of tension. They appeared to have too much effort put into them. All mad lines, also, sounded quite similar. A good example of this is when Jack says, "I hate tea-cake." It sounds much too forced. The dialect was performed very well. I know next to nothing on the subject, but Jack's accent gave the illusion of being natural. I did not notice any words being mispronounced according to my expertise in the English dialect.
Jack's facial expressions, though sometimes unnatural, were very fun to watch. I loved seeing his reaction to things such as his "brother" having arrived. The constant worried expression on his face made it all the more fun to see Jack surprised or in awe. I thought that Jack should have been a little more rattled by the things that Algy said to test him. Sometimes it would throw Jack for a loop, when other times he took it in stride.
Maybe he should be more consistent; I am not sure what would work best for that. There was no difference between Jack's behaviors in his own home compared to those when he was at Algernon's home. A person tends to be more relaxed when at his or her home, but then again, Jack is never very relaxed. I did not notice a difference between outside and inside when Jack was in the Garden, either. I kept imagining him inside a building.
I feel that Jack could have been affected a bit more when Gwendolyn reenters during the first act and tells him that they may never be married. I could not see his face, but I know that his body posture did not change. To slouch or change that may, again, be something outside of the actions of John Worthing. Jason had very good stage handling and economical movement. His stage crosses had both motivation and commitment. I loved the scene dealing with the muffins at the end of act two.
It was a hilarious scene that captured the essence of the play. An awkward movement, if I had to pick one, is when Jack is putting on his gloves at the end of the first act. It seemed a bit unnatural. I viewed no problems in the timing. Jason played the laughs well and fed off of the audience.
I noticed this even when the laughs were not during0his line. He reacted well. The energy from a good audience enhances the performance on every aspect. I enjoyed almost every moment of this play and thought it was carried out beautifully. Jason Dormeyer as John Worthing was a very fitting performance that blended perfectly with the other lead cast members.
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