Road is structured into two clear acts, which each contain several scenes. The way in which Cartwright has wrote the play makes it difficult to determine where scenes end and where scenes begin, the only indication of where scenes end is when Cartwright has put ‘blackout’ as a stage direction. The play is very complex in the way that it is set-up. There is no central backdrop and scenes are rarely revisited, but characters may appear in more than one scene.
The action takes place over one whole night in a northern town although there is an exception to this time frame. Joey’s story is not set over one night it is set over two or more weeks. The main reason for Cartwright upsetting his time frame like this is to emphasise the dismal and harrowing reality of what Joey and Claire have chosen to do. It is screaming at the audience to realise that the sorry state of the nation is forcing young people to commit suicide. It is producing a strong political and social message.
Occasionally there are scenes within a scene, for instance when Marion and Brian have a duologue inside Brian’s house, the conversation (argument) is taken outside into the street, although still part of the same scene. This helps the action flow more easily from one setting to another; it makes the audience feel that they are really going on a journey with the characters. All of the scenes are naturalistic, in that they all represent real life. This maintains the audience’s interest in the play because they can often relate to the action on stage.
There is use of song in Road; for instance Lane sings ‘Lady is a Tramp’. Music is also used to add a solemn mood to the piece in the form of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ by Judy Garland. The play flows from scene to scene with the help of Scullery; he is the narrator of the piece, he guides the audience through Road. Cartwright has used Scullery to build a relationship with the audience and make them feel like they are part of the play. Scullery has been used by Cartwright to say to the audience, everybody knows somebody.
Scullery is everybody’s friend but not many people like him. The play is largely made up of monologues and dialogue. For the most part Cartwright uses monologues to introduce characters to the audience as the characters use direct address frequently. When characters interact with each other it is usually through Scullery on the road. Some scenes such as that between Helen and Soldier are hybrids. This is because although there are two people in the scene only Helen speaks. This makes it a monologue.