In his play 'The Trial' Berkoff attempts to create a nightmarish feel. Describe how you would create this feeling on stage with the use of the 'chorus of 9 people waiting'.

Essay by pebbles00_ukA+, February 2004

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In the play 'The Trial' by Steven Berkoff there are many interesting features. I have found the 'nightmare' quality of the piece to be the most striking of these features and I feel that as a director this nightmarish aspect is key to the success of the piece. I would want the chorus of nine people waiting to play a significant part in creating this quality, especially visually.

The casting process for the chorus would be very important to the development of the overall image of my chorus members. Firstly I would choose to have an all female chorus. This is because I want to create a strong sexual presence between the chorus and K at certain moments in the play. This in itself creates a form of nightmare as the chorus seem easily attainable yet are always just out of his reach. Secondly I would want all the chorus members to look as similar as possible, preferably to be of the same ethnicity with the same hair colour and for their heights and ages to be close together.

This is a technique I first saw in a production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' shown in Sheffield. In this all Titania's fairies were male and appeared to be very similar in appearance. This created anonymity which in turn created confusion.

Confusion features highly in the play, mainly in the form of K's confusion about his arrest. I believe that to create an effective nightmare state in the performance it is necessary to add to this confusion wherever possible. The chorus are a very accessible way to heighten this confusion. Both K and the audience should be confused by the similarities between the nine women. Also K's sexual feelings towards them should be confusing as at certain points I would have...