Recently my group and I performed our self devised play, which we called “St. Pancreas”. I am going to be comparing our piece with an early television programme called “Allo Allo” written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft. Both of these pieces have the genre of melodrama and comedy, both using satire as the ‘back bone’ of their programme. In Allo Allo they also use satire to cause a humorous overview of the war, when “Allo Allo” first started to show on televisions, the opinions and reviews were very controversial, this was because people were still coming to terms with the war they had just experienced and the lasting effects it was having on society.
Another stimulus we used when creating our play, was the comedy television programme “Scrubs”. “Scrubs” is set in a hospital called “Sacred Heart”. In this, they mock, in a humorous way, hospitals, doctors and nurses. The difference between the two, however, is the date and timing. “Allo Allo” is set during the war, in the early 1900’s, and a “Scrubs” is set in modern day America. In “Scrubs” they seem to have a hierarchy system working, with Dr. Bob Kelso and Dr. Cox in the lead, and then the interns and student nurses in the bottom of the rank, with all the main characters, such as J.D and Carla in the middle of this ranking order. We tried to make our play as similar to this as possible, with our Matron and Head Surgeon being in charge and domineering with the other employees. In “Allo Allo” there is not a lot of domineering and ‘official’ characters, the only noticible difference is that the German officers are a lot stricter and threatening towards theother characters.
“Allo Allo” is set in the middle of the war, in a small towns cafï¿½ in France, which is being controlled by the Germans. In our piece, the setting is entirely diverse; it is set in a modern English hospital, which is usually very up to date and successful, however, a major outbreak of a deadly disease takes this superb reputation away. The main influence the writers of “Allo Allo” uses was stereotypes and comedy, with the war included strongly, and our piece was very similar to this as we wanted to convey the way people are judged in the workplace by stereotypes.
The characters also share qualities and similarities in both these of these pieces, for example the waitresses in “Allo Allo” and the interns in our piece are very alike, they both get told exactly what to do, and our usually very careful not to do it wrong, or to forget, for fear of the ‘chief’ and superior role. The people who are most in charge do not seem to get involved in anything, but still give the orders religiously. In our piece we used and developed the use of mime, freeze framing, and we used voiceovers to bring out the emotion we were trying to convey to the audience, much like “Scrubs” does.