There are many chances in the play for the director to emphasise the unease present. These arise from the feelings that anarchy reigns in John Ebony's classroom; from the tension surrounding John and Nadia's marriage and finally from the fear that john's career as a schoolmaster may already be at an end. The slight element of humour in the play provides the audience with light relief from the unease but when it rears it does so more forcefully. This means the audience can never really relax. With careful manipulation of the individual elements the director can easily emphasise or reduce the unease whilst playing with the emotions of audience.It is clear that anarchy reigns in John Ebony's classroom when the roles of teacher and pupil are switched.
Cuthbun tells John Ebony that it is time for a test and in response John Ebony says '...well carry on then.' John Ebony is clearly not in control of the class and makes no attempt to do so. Also going on is the bullying.
There are all the forms of bullying in the class as well as the school. For example pupil on pupil - 'we were beating Wittering sir'. This shows that bulling is going on between the pupils. Aggeridge uses the word 'we' to refer to the class. Also there's Teacher to pupil bullying-'..
.I will lay out the first one ...that touches me.' Obviously this is a threat to the pupils and shows that there is bullying and shows there is no control in the class.
Still there is more bullying, Pupil to teacher- 'get away from the door, sir, or I'll make you.' Thephew says this to John Ebony after Ebony has confronted Thephew about Pelhams death. This conveys that the boys have no respect for authority. The bullying doesn't stop there.
Teacher to teacher bullying- Giles Cooper, the author, has shown this when the head interrupts John Ebony in the middle of a sentence '(interrupts)'. Surely this shows the audience that the head has no respect for his staff.The director would emphasise the bullying by using lighting to make situations look worse for example the bullying of Wittering when this is happening Wittering could be in a dark shadow to show he is an outcast and can't defend himself. Also by skilfully casting characters such as Wittering as smaller and younger than the characters bullying them.It is not only bulling that show the audience that anarchy reigns in the class. There is also the fact that the boys decide what to do in lessons 'it time we had a short test paper.
' Normally a pupil wouldn't suggest that it is time to have a test but this shows that the pupils are in control. The boys know each other very well 'we'll work out suitable marks for everyone' usually students don't know each other well enough to decide on test marks. This class is so dangerous because they are so close and good at scheming.The director can show this by the uniform the boys wear. If the uniforms are all the same this could show that they are united.
John and Nadia's relationship is another area in which the director can exploit unease. It is clear from the start that John and Nadia Ebony are newly weds, it's also clear they probably wont stay together 'your wife, of course is of no importance at all.' Nadia Ebony isn't exactly the type of women you would expect to be a schoolmasters wife '..
.a snack-bar or something's my line' Nadia Ebony isn't interested in a high-powered job like her husband. It doesn't seem their right for each other.The director could show the difference between them by having the character playing Nadia ebony as a tall, slim, tanned, young lady. Who dresses a little to cheaply in short skirts and tight tops, compared to her husband John Ebony who dresses in tweed suits.
All the conversations between John and Nadia Ebony are about John Ebony's work and they never talk about Nadia. 'You talk nothing else at home.' This shows the audience that John Ebony really has no time for his wife. Also it's clear that Nadia is the only one in the relationship who is active. She does all the shouting! Ebony on the other hand tries to avoid confrontation with his wife 'Oh hell, lets go out.'Though out the play it's clear that their marriage is in jeopardy.
The director could show this by the use of body language. At the start of the play John and Nadia Ebony could be close always hugging. As the play progresses they could become distant. Less affectionate.John is keen to forge a worthwhile career in teaching; the problem is that he can't control the boys 'Stop them! For heavens sake stop them!' Ebony uses 'them' because he is asking someone else to quiet the boys, as he has no control.
Also Ebony loses his temper with the boys '...I don't want any more fooling about or there'll be trouble.
' As you can c he not only loses his temper but also threatens the boys. This behaviour toward pupils is unacceptable. '...
a condition bordering upon anarchy...'Ebony is illegally putting bets on for the boys 'haven't you placed the bets yet...
' if the head was to find out about this he would be sacked for sure. Although Ebony seems to know this 'I'm already sacked.'It's obvious in the play that John has lost interest in his new career before it's really started '...
I just can't be bothered...anymore.'The fact he has lost interest in the class allows them to do what they want, but some seem to want to learn 'we'll go ahead.
..you take us.'The director could show this when, at the start of the play Ebony is dressed really smartly.
But as the play progresses and John loses interest in his career he could slowly become scruffy, for example he could suit and shirt not ironed, shirt hanging out, tie not made properly and hair unbrushed. This would show the audience how much Ebony no longer cares.In the end scene of the play Ebony finally decides that he is an unsuccessful schoolmaster 'I'm certainly that alright.' This ends the play on quite an uneasy note with John Ebony admitting he is no longer any good at his chosen career.The director can show the disappointment in Ebony's face by the use of facial expressions and body language. For instance once he has said his line he could look away from the other characters an towards the audience with a expression that shows the disappointment he has in himself.As I have demonstrated there are many ways the director can emphasise the unease generated from it's three main sources in the play.