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Task 3

Radio dramas have been around for many years, with more unique and
interesting storylines being introduced all the time. I intend to critically evaluate
the two various dramas I have chosen, by selecting a postmodern and traditional
drama, which will allow me to successfully compare and contrast the main points
that make them different from each other, and which I believe to be better in
general. A postmodern drama is where it does not follow a narrative structure
and sometimes raises more questions for the audience to answer. However, a
traditional drama usually has a clear narrative structure with a begging, middle
and end and has key characters and a good storyline that is easy for the
audience to understand. The postmodern drama I am looking at is based around
a man who has his world crumbling before him after a deadly car crash, which
changes his life forever. However, the traditional drama is very old-style from the
very start from the music chosen. It is based around a British countryside-based
family, who are living on a farm and goes through each characters individual
ways. It is based in the setting where the family are preparing for a big dress
rehearsal. The use of having the same character narrate as well as play out the
story creates a much greater effect for the audience, as it makes them relate to
him more, as he tells the story when it happened and after, giving two separate
sides of the story.

The main codes of the postmodern drama mainly focus around the narrator who
gives his side of the story, which often cuts from his narration to the actual story
happening for the audience. Which can allow the audience to become more
intrigued by what they are hearing, as the change is clearly explained with
voices and the fact he uses words like used to or did, showing its set in the
past? From listening to the radio drama, we can identify that it is set outside, due
to the thunderstorm in the background, the rain hitting the ground and the
howling wind in the background. The music and sounds are greatly important in
this radio drama, as the car chase at 1minute 25 seconds, uses the sound of the
engine as the loudest thing in it, which makes the audience focus on the speed
he is going, rather than what he is saying. This helps emphasise the impact of his
speed, signifying that something is about to happen, which captivates the
audience into thinking what is going on next. There are often various silences in
the radio drama, which are used when the scene is changing or the speaker has
changed like at 1minute 40 seconds, expressing the silence to express the
deadly crash, and the silence is used to clearly show that a serious thing has just
happened. Direct speech is another convention used in the postmodern drama,
as the narrator constantly talks directly to the audience, which almost makes
them feel as if they are part of the story, making them more enticed with the
storyline. This is shown a lot through the narration, especially at the start of the
drama, where the narrator appears to address the audience, through his use of
words like you and I, showing he may be speaking to someone about this. The
use of a heartbeat is a clear technique that is used to create suspense on
whether or not the character is dead. The sound makes us question if he will
survive, but also shows the panic, with a much faster hear beat. The narration of
the drama tends to ask many questions to the audience, where he also speaks in
a formal tone when addressing the audience, showing the contrast between his
narrations and how he was at the time of the crash. This is shown, as he tends
to be speak in informal language when the story is playing out, but the narration
is very formal and subtle, signifying the difference between the two. The music is
another key aspect of the radio drama, as it allows the audience to automatically
be excited way the suspense of music and the sound from quiet too loud in the
drama. The music adds the suspense and questioning for the audience, due to
the intense music that was at the start of the radio drama. When the main
character is driving, high-paced music is playing in the background to emphasise
the fact he is travelling fast. However, the music tends to go silent at certain
stages to show certain points for the audience, like at 1 minute 29 where the
crash happens and silence appears to show the effect is has caused as the music
has stopped. Lastly, sometimes the music can cut off abruptly to show the
audience what sort of mood the character is in, and the atmosphere created from
this. The words used in this postmodern drama are vital in identifying who the
characters are, as they tend to use a lot of informal language and slang, which
can mean they are more likely to be a teenager rather than someone in there
30s. The use of words is vital in identifying the target audience, but also trying
to determine where they might be from by the words they ultimately use.
Another technique used is the words and speech, as he tends to talk quietly
when trying to emphasise certain point, however he tends to use basic words
that the audience would understand, to make the narrative as easier to
remember as possible. This is shown at 3minutes 42, where he is talking about
the crash, and trying to express how nervous he is of what could happen, by
talking in a very quiet voice and emphasizing words like scared to show
dramatic meaning. Ambience is a key code that needs to be used in a radio
drama to make it as interesting as possible, as it sets the scene for the audience.
This is done in the postmodern radio drama, when he is talking about the crash
after it happened and the events that led up to that, which creates an intense
atmosphere, which can captivate the audience into what they are listening to, by
painting the picture clearly in their head. Words are vitally important in both
radio drama, as it gives the audience a clear message as to what is going on and
allows them together their own interpretation for what is going on through the
words that are used. This also helps to develop the plot, as it allows the story to
progress further, but it also allows the characters personalities to develop, as the
words can relate to that character more. This is clearly shown through the first
10 seconds of the Archers, when the two main characters are talking, and we
almost learn about their lives without them speaking directly to the camera. This
is also clearly shown in the Blind Mans Confession, where the main character is
giving his voice over around 8 seconds in, and he starts to explain the situation
he is in, and where he is located at the time, so the audience can interpret it to
be very realistic. The overall use of words in both radio dramas is more effective
in the Blind Mans Confessions, as he clearly helps define the plot and the other
characters, just through a few lines, which can represent a meaning to the
audience much quicker and clearer.

In both radio dramas, speech is the main fixture which allows both of them to
work successfully. It is the main asset in delivering a realistic through to the
audience, by the way the speech is said and the way the actors perform. Speech
can be identified in the Blind Mans confession with the opening voice over,
where he deliberately speaks in a loud boisterous way, to show his confidence
and to represent that he thinks he is a cool kid. This automatically gives the
audience a rather distasteful view of him already, as he gloats a lot in the voice
over and come across as smug through the sarcasm in his voice. Speech is also
presented in the Archers at 9minutes 25, when the women asks her husband
how the lunch was and he responds it an happy and upbeat way, showing his
delight at the meal, by saying things like, It was very nice. Both examples are
able to use speech in the best way, and present the audience with a clear
understanding as to what is going on. However, I think the Archers is able to do
this better, as it has similar speech to the example given in most of the lines of
dialogue, which allows the audience to clearly understand what the characters
are feeling, while the Blind Mans Confession tends to use actions rather than
speech, as the main way of telling a story.

The main codes of the traditional drama use eloquent music at the begging of
the radio drama, to express the fact it is based in Britain. A lot of the speech
spoken in the radio drama is very formal, and the people are clearly from Britain
in the 20th Century, due to the way they speak, which allows the audience to
automatically represent they are British. The words they use help the audience
identify they are British due to the strong British accent. The use of dialogue and
words help the audience to understand what is going on and pay attention to key
things in the background that paint a scene for the audience. Tone is very
important, which is shown at the very beginning where the Mum tries to get
attention from the family by raising her voice and speaking slowly, showing she
is superior in the household. The is often various silences when the scene is
changing in the radio drama to show a clear change, or a different person is
speaking, this allows the audience to clearly identify when a different person is
speaking. Many of the sounds used in the radio drama, allow the production to
seem very realistic, as there are many things that allow it to seem almost real for
the audience. The fact that there arent many background noises in the
production when the characters are speaking can enhance what is actually being
said, this is shown when they are all discussing what to wear and the little
argument that is going on, the silence helps to express this further. The silence
can clearly be identified, as an important aspect in the traditional drama, as the
speech is made the focal point for the audience, so they can clearly hear what is
being said.

The conventions in the postmodern drama mainly use flashbacks as a main
aspect through the radio drama. This technique helps to explain the story further
and can create a better storyline as it is told from a narrator who gives his past
stories. The conventions in the postmodern drama also use fades as a way to
show a change of setting in the story, which is a clear identification for the
audience. In addition, fades are used when a different person is speaking to show
a clear change of speaker for the audience. Another key convention that is in the
postmodern drama is the use of characterisation, as the narrator always gives a
lot of detail about what the characters look like, which can help the audience to
imagine more what to expect from the storyline. This is shown when he describes
what the friends looked like at the party, which can paint a visual image in our
minds. Narration is a key aspect that is situated in the Blind Mans confession, as
it is the main focal point for explain and developing the storyline for the
audience. This helps the audience hear the story from two perspectives when it
actually happened and after the event. Credits is used at the end when the
narrator thanks a list of people for the work in the radio drama, which shows the
audience who was in the radio drama. In addition, title is shown at the start of
the production, where the narrator introduces the actual production, with his
voice being fairly quiet, which slowly introduces the storyline for the audience.
The traditional drama also uses many conventions throughout the radio drama,
which allow it to work successfully. It uses a lot of aural signposting, which allows
the listener to gain a clearer of the scene that is trying to be set, as it created
drama through the sound that was created or silence to create the mood
particular. The traditional drama also uses characterisation, as a clear way to tell
the audience how the characters look. However, compared to the postmodern
drama the traditional drama uses characterisation a lot less, as the audience
need to identify what the characters would look like, as a clear description is not
explained. This allows more freedom in imagination for the audience, as the
postmodern drama explains what certain characteristics things have, which can
restrict the imagination of the audience. Cliff-hangers are used in the traditional
drama to captivate the audience in to what is going to happen next, whereas the
postmodern drama has an end to it. Another convention used in the traditional
drama is the use of speech, as the way they speak is a clear identification of how
the family may act and what era they are based around. Speech is key in the
traditional drama, as it allows the audience to gather more information based
around what they know already. Compared to the postmodern drama, it requires
speech to be very particular and different at all times, due to the wide range of
characters that are in the story, compared to the small amount that are in the
postmodern drama. Unlike the traditional drama flashbacks are not used, which
can make the narrative more understandable for the audience. Chronological
development is also an important aspect that is key in the traditional drama, as
it allows the actual narrative to unfold at a more understandable pace. This
means it has clear beginning, middle and end, which could help the storyline to
develop. This is another difference compared to the postmodern drama, which
tends to go from present to past often when explaining the actual storyline.

Aural signposting in a technique that is used in both radio dramas, but more
found in the Blind Mans Confession. This is clearly shown at 1 minute and 30
seconds, when the car starts to skid out of control when it crashes, and the
audience hear the loud crash, that signifies the car collision clearly. The sue of
this effect is vitally important, as it allows the drama to flow together better, and
helps the viewer to work out how it may have crashed, making it more exciting
to find out what happened next. Although it doesnt appear as frequently in the
Archers, aural sign posting can be seen at 9minutes 26 seconds, when the
audience hear the various shaking of coins that are in the womens hands, and
then hear a further noise when they are placed onto the desk. This effect shows
the audience she grabbed the coins out then decided to place them on the desk,
which gives the viewer better understanding, as to where the coins came from,
as they are relying mainly on sounds. The use of aural sign posting is more vivid
in the Blind Mans confession, which allows it to be more crucial throughout the
production, which allows the plot to development, more than what the Archers
uses it for.

The appropriateness to the target audience in the postmodern drama can
identify too many different aspects in the storyline. Firstly, there does not seem
to be a specific audience that it can categorise into, as the storyline does not
suggest a possible era it is based around. However, from the actual storyline we
can identify that the audience may be aimed more at teenagers to people in
their 20s, as the actual narrator appears to be in his mid-20s, which can be
identified from the way he speaks and the storyline. The postmodern drama also
relates to teenagers and people in their 20 have as it starts at a house party,
which can be most associated with that specific target audience. Dramatic
reconstruction is used in the postmodern drama, as the use of narration and
flashbacks can create the scene for the audience, which is shown when the
narrator talks about the car crash at 5minutes 30, and the scene then cuts back
to the actual storyline unfolding, which can make the overall drama more
dramatic and interesting, as the audience will feel like it is happening right at
that minute.

The appropriateness to the target audience in the traditional drama can be linked
more towards adults in there 30s and upwards and mainly women. This is clearly
shown from the actual content that is in the storyline as it can be identified more
towards a specific target audience. As the style is a period drama it can almost
straight away relate to adults, as it set in the era they were brought up in. This is
also shown with characters, as the majority of them are aimed at this specific
age and they tend to discuss and speak like the elder generation. The use of
language also gives us the impression the traditional drama is aimed more
towards people who like traditional sort of television, as they use a lot of old
British voices, who tend to speak very posh, which also represents social class
for the audience to identify. The use of music can also be a creation of mood as it
can represent how the characters are felling. An example is at the start of the
radio drama where the music is very joyful and upbeat, which represents what
the characters are actually saying in the production. Dramatic reconstruction
isnt widely used in the Archers, as much as the postmodern drama, but it can be
identified when the story is being unfolded towards the end 8minutes 25, and the
family are deciding what will happen in the dress rehearsal and the main
characters, ending on cliff hanger as to if the play still goes ahead. Dramatic
reconstruction is used when multiple characters are speaking at the same time
to show rising tensions in the radio drama, and the fact the characters are arsing
into an argument. This is clearly identified in the traditional drama at 4minutes
36, where the family begin to argue about the roles for the rehearsal, and the
use of back and forth conversations, shows the dramatic situation being
addressed to the audience, making it more reliable. This technique is also used in
the traditional drama, when they tend to recreate scenes, by giving emotive
descriptions on what is going on, which will captivate the audience further.
There are a many differences in the postmodern drama compared to the
traditional drama, as the actual target audience in each radio drama is different,
which would me the actual content would be vitally different in order to cater for
that specific target audience. In addition, both tend to create the mood
differently throughout, as the postmodern drama tends to introduce something
at a much slower speed, whereas the traditional drama usually tries to explain
and create a mood straight away.

The structure in the postmodern drama and the traditional drama has many
different techniques that make it successful. Both of the durations of the
different radio dramas run for no longer than 12 minutes each, which shows a
similarity between the two productions. This has allowed a story to get through
easy enough for the audience, but has also made it interesting also, as it is not
too long it will bore the audience completely. However, as the traditional drama
is almost an on-going soap opera, whereas the postmodern drama is a one off
story, it can show a major difference in the ending. This is due to the fact the
traditional is left on a cliff-hanger, so people will be more enticed to watch more
episodes. Whereas the postmodern drama has a closed ending, which could
cause lack of interest for the audience, as the story, has been fit into a small
amount of time, but the traditional is ongoing story, which would interest people
much more.
The narrative structure and development of plot are key aspects that help with
the radio drama structure. In the traditional drama, the narrative was very
important, as it ensured that the audience understood what was actually going
on in the production, the clear beginning middle and end made the narrative
structure vitally easier to understand. Whereas the postmodern used flashbacks
and present storylines for the development of plot, which helped captivate the
audience more, and entice them into what they were listening to. These two
radio dramas clearly show the difference between a postmodern and traditional
drama, just with narrative structure, and how the actual radio drama as intended
to be set up.
Development of plot is used in both of the dramas in order to move the story
further much quicker, and tell the audience what is actually going on. This
structure can allow the audience to become more interested into the actual
narrative of the radio drama, and having a clear development of beginning,
middle and end allows the audience to identify key points that happen in the
radio drama. Development of plot is used in the postmodern drama when the
crash happens, and the scene cuts back to the narrator talking which makes the
audience wonder what is actually going on, as it creates more suspense for
them. It is also used in the traditional drama, as it has clear begging, middle and
end and follows a clear linear narrative, which can make it much more
understandable for the audience. The development of plot in the main fixture of
the radio dramas we are analysing, as it gives the audience the main foundation
into what to look for. It allows the story to progress through the climaxes and the
devices that are used. The main development in the archers follows the daily life
of a family living on a farm and is mainly set out to be as realistic as possible and
doesnt have many twists or supernatural aspects to it. The use of a linear
narrative, allows the development of plot to progress further, a sit gives the
audience a clear begging, middle and end which makes it more understandable,
but also clearer to follow the plot of what is going on. However, the Blind Mans
confession is based around young adults who end his night horribly by crashing
his car, showing the progress of him coming close to death. The story follows the
main character throughout, and mostly uses voiceovers, as a way to clearly
explain what is going on. The devoplment of pot is mainly signified through the
use of a non-linear narrative, which goes back and forth from the past to the
present, which allows the story to progress and development through two
different perspectives, and allows the audience to understand more of what is
going on. Overall, I would say that this technique is better used in the Blind
Mans Confession, as the story is made to be more interesting through the use of
flashbacks and the way the narrative and speech are structured, which make the
overall story much more effective and interesting to listen to.
Overall, I believe the structure of the radio drama was much better in the
traditional drama, as it had a clear linear narrative making it more
understandable for the audience. This technique meant that the story did not
keep jumping from scene to scene, and had a clear easy story, that was still
interesting for the audience. This also allowed the audience to understand it was
a try

Overall, the comparison of the postmodern and traditional radio drama have
many similarities and many differences that have arisen when contrasting the
both. The main differences in both dramas, was the fact that the traditional
drama had more of a narrative to it, whereas the postmodern used flashbacks
and fades as another way to present a story. In addition, both radio dramas used
aural sign posting as major technique to show and demonstrate the use of sound
and effects, which made the actual storylines of both dramas majorly more