Thirty Three Swoons Essay, Research Paper
A critique on Thirty Three Swoons
In the play Thirty Three Swoons, which is a collection of four farces written by Anton Palovish Chekhov. The play consists of these short productions in order, Swan Song, The Bear, The Proposal, and The Wedding. Each of them their own unique plays that pokes fun on the Russian middle class. The whole production, I believed played on and made fun of a society that is not always familiar with society today. I have no knowledge of Russian society in the late 1800s. I don t believe most do, I believe the production as a whole was a failure, because while watching the play, most of those in the audience did not laugh at the puns, and one liners that focused on Russian society. In my opinion the production itself was a failure for this time period, yet the acting was splendid.
In the first short act, Swan Song, an actor, played an theatre actor; the costumes were well set in the time period in which the play was written. The stage itself did not have much scenery or set design. The main focus was on the actor, whom was drunk. The script was written about how an actor s life was the theatre, and he was trying to figure out if he wasted his life or did what he loved to do. Watching the play was easy the actors were energetic, and their stage business kept the focus. The acting was very dramatic, showing the inner struggle of the actor, yet the script was hard to follow. At times some were laughing at a pun or comment, others were not, yet for someone with my knowledge of Russian society, I thought it was not funny at all. I also did not understand the title.
The second farce on society was The Bear. Out of the four, I comprehended this one the best. It was easier to follow; the entire farce involved a widow, a merchant and a butler. The Merchant arrives to retrieve money from the widow, who does not have the money, and the merchant refuses to leave until he is paid what is owed to him. The butler in this case plays a buffoon. The comedy in this play comes mostly from the frustration of the merchant, and his sudden affection towards the widow. The widow also adds some comedy by playing a woman grown cold by the lack of attention from her late husband. The scenery in this play had much more props, such as antique furniture to set the time period. The actors performed an excellent job of showing emotion through their voices since masks covered their faces. The stage business also worked with the entire set, making the drama more believable. Empathetic devices used by the merchant himself made me want to get out of my seat and give him money to pay off his house payment. The buffoon, or butler, gave the feeling of total frustration by the stupidity that was performed. As a whole this farce worked with society today, and made this one with the most hilarity.
The last two farces played on the idea of marriages, between merchant classes. The Proposal and The Wedding, the first played on the idea of finding a respectable mate, and the second on a middle class wedding. The Proposal was funny at the very beginning, but I believe it dragged on more than necessary. The scenery again was simplified realism, by using furniture from that time period. The costumes, and masks were also set in that time period. These two plays ran too long, and also played again with ideas of a society, which are foreign to me. The last play in particular had too many actors, whose roles were not specified and were not needed. The acting in The Proposal, was very dramatically, and portrayed the feelings of the characters very well. Although the acting was good, it still was too long; I kept waiting for a conclusion, which finally came yet it was lacking drama compared to the scenes of the argument that had occurred.