Sunday, June 19, 2016

What is the point of this life we live?

Lisa McMullin's Rapture focuses on several issues troubling the planet, and England, these days including overpopulation, self-worth, and downsizing. However, the most compelling problem she addresses in her new play at the Etcetera Theatre has to be figuring out who deserves to live. In the words that follow I will explore key elements of Rapture that support my argument focusing on two memorable scenes/moments/symbols

The Etcetera Theatre located in Camden Town allows the audience to enjoy live theatre while sipping on a few drinks. We first take a step into what looks like an ordinary pub but to our surprise is a little theatre in the back where people can experience the magic of a live performance. As we step into the theatre, we are introduced by a colorfully lit sign that reads Etcetera Theatre Club. The audience members make their way through the seating area to find a decent seat and the show begins. We are now entering the story of Rapture by Lisa McMullin.

As the show begins, we are introduced to a few characters, each with their own personality and occupation. We first see a man who seems to be cleaning up materials that have been left all over the room. Then, we are introduced to four other characters, a Bingo Announcer, a Drama teacher, a politician, and a celebrity. The audience starts to wonder the reason for these certain characters being placed inside a room together. We are then introduced to the plot of the story and find out that these people were chosen for a reason. Then they find out information that people of England are being killed because they need to downsize. In order for these characters to be able to live is to prove that their life is worth it. People wonder about their lives all the time and wonder what else they could do to make it better. Rapture has sucked in the audience to make their own decisions on who they believe deserves to live. This is when people's opinions can become bias because people will obviously chose the person they feel a connection with the most. One of the key elements of this play would be the audience finding that connection and making a decision on which one of those characters deserve to live.

The scene that stuck out to me the most was when the teacher, describes her life. She talks about how she doesn't have a personal life because she is too busy with her job. This is one of the modern day problems we have where people are so consumed into their jobs that they don't have time for themselves. The way that she described her work was very beautiful and my heart felt touched by it because it was relatable. She argues that we are constantly relating to drama because we are always telling stories which is what drama does. The moment the teacher is being interrogated, we can see in her eyes that she wants to have a personal life but knows that she has been sucked into her job. In my opinion, she deserves to live because she is relatable to myself as an audience member because my major is drama.

Another scene that was very powerful was in the end when the characters are faced to make the decision on who gets to live. At this point, we see some of the characters giving up and not caring if they live or not which reveals the darkness that this play gives out. This is also a part of our daily lives where we question our self worth. The drama teacher speaks out and says she wants a chance to live and be able to have her own children. The celebrity laughs at her and that is when the drama teacher realizes that maybe she is not worth it. Throughout this process, each character has been sucked out and ripped apart until the end so neither of them will feel the need to live. The moment that stood out to me was in the end when they vote on who gets to live. The celebrity votes for the politician but he has not voted for himself yet and starts to think about his life. He thinks about his son and whether he is still alive because if he is not then he feels he doesn't want to live. The play ends in a powerful scene as the politician last minute shoots his arm in the air and then it is a blackout. The audience is now left to think about the aftermath and what really happened to all those people.

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