In our drama class we have been studying the Bentley and Craig case. We did six different performances including the rooftop scene, monologues and a final summary. We learnt and applied different strategies to our piece of drama to make the audience feel effected in the way we wanted, if it was shocked or tearful.
The Bentley or Craig case was about two teenagers who got caught on the rooftop of a wholesaler, Barlow and Parker. The police had come up to catch them, however there was a struggle and Christopher Craig brought out a gun. Craig shot a police officer, PC Miles, after Bentley allegedly shouted ‘Let him have it Chris.’ I believe the reason we studied this piece was because of the issues raised. For example, because of Christopher and Derek’s background, and the stereotypical view of youths being rebellions, had it influenced the trial? As well as this, a simple statement – ‘Let him have it Chris’ – can be interpreted in different ways, however had the fact that teenagers idols included Elvis Presley, who many people believed promoted sex, influenced the jury to think the worst in the teens?
Our first session was the Rooftop Scene. This was where PC Miles is shot by Christopher Craig, when he and Derek Bentley tried to break into Barlow and Parker wholesalers. This was our first performance, so we wanted to inform the audience about Craig and Bentley as much as we could. We also wanted the audience to sympathise with PC Miles. To do this, we used numerous drama strategies, including freeze frames, miming, thought tapping and reincorporation.
We began our piece with the ending. This is called reincorporation. Everyone was on stage and I (PC Miles) was lying dead on the floor, as I had just been shot by Craig. We stayed frozen for a count of three before I got up and turned to the audience to say ‘On November 2nd, I was murdered.’ I then laid back down. This instantly created sympathy for PC Miles because the first thing the audience...