Melodrama is dramatic, theatrical, broad gesture and true emotion. The story is simple: good vs. evil. Hero, villain, and victim. What is at stake is most often life and death. Anything can happen! The style is physical and expanded – the challenge lies in performing it with believability.
Even though we will laugh a lot, melodrama must not become parody. We will gain a basic knowledge of the style and its characteristic elements such as tableau and asides, as well as working to make our physical language, our gesture and our emotional life extroverted and enlarged, without exaggeration and without losing truthfulness.
Grand Guignol / Theatre of Blood and Gore
In the style of Grand Guignol the emphasis is on shock. Théâtre du Grand Guignol was established in Paris in 1897. For 60 years, this theatre housed an effect-theatre with such power, that it is said that audience members were known to faint. Eyes were gouged out, hands cut off, toungues removed, brains thrown in the garbage – all live on stage. Melodrama with additional theatre blood is always a great hit – but it’s a messy business, so don’t forget a change of clothes!