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HIGHER DRAMA ‘The Steamie’ by Tony Roper Sugar-coated, nostalgic, sentimental but entertaining  /the-steamie/1988-12-31-

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Presentation on theme: "HIGHER DRAMA ‘The Steamie’ by Tony Roper Sugar-coated, nostalgic, sentimental but entertaining  /the-steamie/1988-12-31-"— Presentation transcript:

1 HIGHER DRAMA ‘The Steamie’ by Tony Roper Sugar-coated, nostalgic, sentimental but entertaining  /the-steamie/1988-12-31- 2100/?yes

2 Interview with Tony Roper Tony Roper was born in the Anderson district of Glasgow in 1941. Along with Phil Differ he wrote and starred as Rikki Fulton in ‘Ricky and Me’, a play that portrayed the life of Scottish actor and comedian, Ricky Fulton. His last project was writing and directing ‘The Celts in Seville’ for Celtic FC, which was an enormous success at the Pavilion Theatre Glasgow. However, he is probably best known for his portrayal of Jamesie Cotter in Rab C Nesbitt. Recently he was made an honorary doctor of literature by The University of Abertay in Dundee.

3 The STRANDS  Social, Political and Religious Dimensions  Use of History, nostalgia and Popular Tradition  Issues of Gender  Current Production and Issues  Humour. Language and Characterisation cross all the strands

4 Social, Political and Religious Dimensions:  social background and conditions  nationalism  industrial relations and the workplace  political theatre as entertainment  distribution of wealth  relationship between the individual and the establishment  sectarianism  devices used to communicate social, political and religious messages

5 Use of History, Nostalgia and Popular Tradition:  historical accuracy  devices used to create a sense of period  myth and legend  growth and decline of industry  the sectarian divide  relationship between the individual and the Establishment  distribution of wealth  romanticism  devices used to create/generate nostalgia  use of Scottish song, music and dance  variety, pantomime and farce  satire  celebrations, rituals, social gatherings

6 Issues of Gender:  symbolic martyr  romantic hero  relationships  relationship btw the individual and the Establishment  marriage and the family  women and power  men and power  sexual development of characters  oppression/suffering

7 Other cross strand elements  Common to all areas of study will be the use of language, humour and characterisation.

8 How are elements revealed?  Story/narrative/plot  Setting  Characterisation  Structure  Title  Costume/lighting/props/make up/sound  Language  Humour / Pathos  Use of Stereotypes  Use of irony, metaphor  Form  Nostalgia / familiarity  Relationships

9 Social Issues Issues of Gender Humour and comedy Nostalgia Popular Tradition The Steamie Click to jump to specific areas Back to Steamie Menu History Language and Dialect

10 Setting  Glasgow  Hogmanay 1953  The Steamie

11 Characters  Doreen (young and fashion conscious)  Margrit (impatient and cynical)  Dolly (talkative and gullible  Mrs Culfeathers (frail and lonely)  Andy (drunk)

12 Doreen  Aspirational  Young, newly married to John (a typical Glasgow man but modern in outlook)  Dramatic irony – Drumchapel  Fashion conscious  But … working hard at the Steamie already and no sign of being able to fulfil her aspirations

13 Margrit  Catholic  Hardworking  Married to Peter McGuire, an alcoholic layabout, and has two children  Cynical but accepts the status quo  A little impatient and unforgiving of others but underneath the hard exteriour is a soft centre

14 Dolly  Naïve and gullible  Talkative and sociable  Married with a grown up family  Comic foil  Easily fooled  Good hearted

15 Mrs Culfeathers  Molly, married to Harry (who is ill) with 2 grown up sons and 3 grandchildren she never sees  Poor and must take in washing to support her family  Fond memories of the past  Lonely  Subject of pathos

16 Andy  Male  Authority figure but undermined by Roper  Makes promises he cannot keep  Scolds women for drinking but gets drunk himself  Symbols for all men – drunk incompetents which the women love and care for

17 Commercial Success  The Steamie was written for the 1987 Mayfest  It was hugely popular at the time and has remained so for the past 20 years  Commercially very successful  Popularity as a result of nostalgia and familiarity

18  Nationalism and Use of Scot’s Language  Poverty and the imbalance of wealth  Alcohol  Housing, new towns and Social Change Social, Political and Religious Issues In ‘The Steamie’ Back to Steamie Menu

19 Social and Political Issues Nationalism is not featured fully throughout the play, however there are some passing references to the ‘English’ and the British films by the characters during the play; “I cannae stand the wey they talk aw yon ya ya ya.” – Doreen Money is a theme throughout the play. The women bring up money frequently in their conversations during their time at the Steamie. In reference to the American houses; “They cost a fortune” - Dolly Back to Steamie Menu

20 Alcohol is mentioned a lot throughout the play. Most of the time, the subject of alcohol is brought up by the only male character, Andy who is drinking on the job, yet accuses the women of drinking; “Do you know where they’re getting’ the drink fae Mrs Culfeathers?” - Andy This is ironic as, throughout, men are described as being drunk all the time; not the women as we find out when Andy has too much to drink. “Ah’ve hid a wee drink…but that’s between you and me” – Andy “He’s lying up there drunk already, oot the game, sick o’er the carpet, pig” - Margrit “Aye, he likes a drink your Peter.” - Dolly Back to Steamie Menu

21 Imbalance of wealth- in the play there is a clear divide between the hardship of the working class and the wealth of society. This is shown mainly through Mrs Culfeathers’ situation as she is a very old woman who is not particularly very physically strong but she is having to do a lot of hard work for her and her husband: “she said shed been here since wan o’clock. Imagine havin’ tae take in washin’ at her age. Y’ed think her family wid help her oot.” This shows that Mrs Culfeathers is working class and was having to work well into her old age just to be able to keep herself and her husband alive.

22  Use of Scots language - in the play they use more Glaswegian dialect rather than just Scots.  use of the Scots language creates a sense of closeness between the characters as they use slang words “eh does she have bowly legs?”  The use of the Scots language make this more humorous and unique.  Greater identity between the audience in Scotland and the action on stage. Having said that, it has toured all over the world. Back to Steamie Menu

23  Most of the characters are stereotyped working class housewives  Margrit’s monologue “Isn’t it wonerful to be a woman.”  “you get up at the crack of dawn….you don’t even get a cup of tea before you tidy up. Then you’ve got to go to work..”  The workload of a family woman at this time as expressed by Margrit was fairly typical. Men gave little help to women who had to shoulder the burden of looking after the family entirely. Back to Steamie Menu Stereotyping

24 Nostagia, History and Popular Tradition  Nostalgia – a longing for the past (often in idealized terms)  History – the past  Popular Tradition – the use of popular traditional theatre styles

25 Nostalgia  The desire to return to an earlier time in ones life, or a fond remembrance of that time, usually tinged with sadness at its having passed  Nostalgia is a romanticised, sentimental or unrealistic interpretation of past events which is often exploited in contemporary Scottish Theatre

26 Nostalgic Devices  Music (e.g. Pals)  Set  Props  Costume  Sentimental Memories  Familiar References  Humour / Pathos  Language / Dialect  Setting (Time)  Period These evoke nostalgic feelings and contribute to the popularity and commercial success of any production.

27 Hogmanay The play is set on Hogmanay which immediately brings to mind familiar associations to a Scottish audience. This creates a feeling of NOSTALGIA. We associate Hogmanay as a time that is spent with family and friends. This is often mentioned in the text. Poignantly Mrs Culfeathers is not with her family and has been working long hours. Back to Steamie Menu

28 Hogmanay  Having a drink with friends to bring in the New Year is very traditional.  Andy “ I mean this is no fur the management’s ears…….Ah’ve hid a wee drink….”  Alcohol is mentioned throughout the play. Back to Steamie Menu

29 Nostalgia  The play is nostalgic because “Steamies” no longer exist Doreen “They’re closin’ aw the steamies daen, they say launderettes are gonnae take over”

30 Nostalgia  Mrs Culfeathers- “Of course we had real summers then…”  Looking back fondly on the past …  Dolly - “Zat a bubble cut?” which shows old fashion hairstyles which were popular in those days. Back to Steamie Menu

31 Nostalgia  Doreen- “d’ye want a hauf?”…Andy “But seein’ its Hogmanay… I’ll no insult ye…. But jist a wee wan mind.”  Dolly- “Get ma curlers in” reminds us of old ways to style hair because not so many people use those now. Back to Steamie Menu

32 Nostalgia  Magrit “Ah liked the quickstep and the Foxtrot” - old fashion traditional dances.  Magrit “Naw he’s staunin here wi’a box brownie” - the names of the old technology i.e. cameras. Back to Steamie Menu

33 Nostalgia  Magrit “Staunin at Parkhead shoutin’ aboot King Billy wi’ the rest o’ the ijiots.” This reference to football recalls a popular tradition.  Doreen “She charges one and six a washin’ ” The reference to pre- decimilisation is nostalgic for those old enough to remember it. Back to Steamie Menu

34 Nostalgia  The “hard times” creates nostalgia and shows a view of people who stuck together. Back to Steamie Menu

35 Nostalgia  Mrs Culfeathers- “….And the whole of Glesca Green was like a sea of colour…” shows nostalgia for the old Glasgow.  Mrs Culfeathers- “There was never any loneliness in that place, naebody seemed tae be lonely” shows old fond memories, rose tinted memories. Was there really no loneliness then … or does it merely reflect a time when Mrs Culfeathers wasn’t lonely. Back to Steamie Menu

36 Nostalgia  Tony Roper shows a warm affectionate tribute to the community spirit of old Glasgow.  He relies heavily on the dialogue of the action and timing which made it a success.  But has the community spirit died out with the decline of these meeting places? Back to Steamie Menu

37 History  It is set in the past.  References to old money, old fashions, films of the past, the Glasgow of the past etc

38  community identity  character stereotypes  audience participation  local dialect language  local references  sentimentalising rituals  performance style  patter / punchlines  visual comedy

39 Humour  One liners/punch lines  Long running jokes  Double acts  Visual comedy  Patter  Dramatic irony Back to Steamie Menu

40 One liners/punch lines  A punch line is a joke that gets straight to the point and has an immediate effect on the audience  e.g. When Magrit refers to her Husband : “…His breath’s like a burst lavy, ye could strip paint wi’ it.” Back to Steamie Menu

41 Long running jokes  A long running joke is one that will be referred back to through out the play and continually be made funny. i.e. Galloway’s mince joke. Mrs Culfeathers: “I always thought it was the mince.” Margrit:“I wish tae Christ ye’s wid shut up aboot mince an tatties. Ma ears are bleeding wi’ ye’s. Back to Steamie Menu

42 Double acts  A double act is formed between two characters to perform the same joke - Magrit and Doreen are great examples of teaming up throughout the play.  The best example is of Doreen and Magrit on the “Phone” when they fool Dolly into thinking there is an actual conversation on the phone going Magrit “Bring, Bring, bring, bring, she’s no in Dolly.” … Doreen (to Magrit) “Ah cannae keep this up.” Back to Steamie Menu

43 Visual comedy Examples of visual humour in The Steamie are: At the start the audience can clearly see a big sign indicating that no dirty overalls are to be put in the washing, then they clearly see Dolly putting her husband’s overalls in the tub.  Dolly hiding under the sheet while she tries to wash herself while Andy gets into trouble by Magrit - “…insinuating that my friend Dolly’s washin’ is so dirty it’s movin’?” Back to Steamie Menu

44 Patter  The Glasgow Patter is commonly thought to have been borne out of the shipyards and the micro- community tenements surrounding them. To be more accurate, it's more to do with the influx of the witty Irish when Glasgow began to transform into an industrial powerhouse.  Magrit:Ma Peter wid drink it oot a shitty cloot. Back to Steamie Menu

45 Dramatic irony  This plays a huge part in The Steamie. This is where the audience know something that the characters do not. An example of this is Doreen’s comments about “Drumchapel”. Doreen imagines this to be the start of a wonderful life for her and her husband, but in fact the audience know that Drumchapel did not become that great place she imagined it would be.  Doreen “Ah’ll get it eventually Magrit, ah’ve put ma name doon fur a hoose in Drumchapel ” Back to Steamie Menu

46 Why is humour used?  To make a serious point.  Mostly the women use humour to make good of a bad situation. In reality they have little to be happy about but it is a mean of coping with the situation.  Humour is used to lighten the atmosphere and make the women realise that not all things end up bad - because they’ve always got their “pals”! Back to Steamie Menu


48 Issues Of Gender In Back to Steamie Menu  relationships  relationship between the individual and the Establishment  marriage and the family  women and power  oppression/suffering

49 Andy is the only male that appears in the play. The other woman talk about their husbands, Margaret generally talks of her husband being a drunk- “he’s lyin up there drunk already, oot the game, sick o’er the carpet, pig” Andy turns drunk at the end and loses all power over the woman. Mrs Culfeathers’ husband is to ill to work so she has to do everything. Back to Steamie Menu

50 The woman talk about having to work a lot, looking after kids, making the meals, working in the day- “isn’t it wonderful to be a woman. Ye get up at the crack o dawn and get the breakfast oan, get the weans ready and oot the hoose workin as tidy and as well dressed as ye can afford” The woman accept men’s role in life - “gambling and drinking” The woman are always under the power of the man (Andy) Doreen has no aspirations that aren’t domestic: she aspires to have a washing machine, a bath. Back to Steamie Menu

51 History of the Steamie  There are many Gender issues in the steamie which has a lot to do with this period of time and how women were expected to do a lot of work. Back to Steamie Menu

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