How would you want your audience to respond to Dogsborough
Dogsborough is a parallel of Hindenburg and the character of Dogsborough is key in the script of “The resistible rise of Arturo Ui”, as President Hindenburg was in the rising of Hitler. The events in the play reflect those of real life – Hindenburg was given a house by those interested in profiting from securing his friendship. However, the deal was dodgy, as Hindenburg was well aware, and this was later used in order to blackmail him in order to make Hitler chancellor in January 1933.
Brecht’s intention was too controversially reveal the true events surrounding Hindenburg and his part in Hitler’s rising by creating the character of Dogsborough. Therefore I would like the audience to respond to him with apprehension and later sympathy for a man who was clearly a fool. To achieve this, firstly Dogsborough should be cast as an older, overweight man who is obviously past his prime of life. The actor should have white hair; else this effect can be created by using makeup.
If I were performing the role of Dogsborough, I would begin the play by using an arrogant manner created with dismissive gestures and a cold, unfriendly tone of voice. However, as he is later threatened and blackmailed, I would make my gestures become smaller and more nervous, whilst my voice quietens to signify the fall of a broken man. My body language, strong and proud before, would become defensive. In terms of costumes, I think Dogsborough’s quality of costume should deteriorate throughout the performance in order to show a fall in his power and stance.
I think the play would be best suited to being performed in a proscenium arch theatre because I feel the fourth wall is important in the creation of a relationship between the actors and the audience. I wish the audience to feel as though they are witnessing events which they should not be. Although Dogsborough is discussed in the first scene by the directors of the cauliflower trust, he is not seen on stage until the second scene. He has been described as strong; “In eighty winters, he’s shown no weakness”, rude to people lesser than himself; “used to be all smiles is one cold shoulder” and “honest”.
This is an important indication in the way in which the character of Dogsborough should be performed. For instance, if I were performing the role of Dogsborough, when Butcher and Flake first enter the restaurant, I would take one look at them before saying “You didn’t need to come. The answer is No. Your proposition stinks of rotten fish. ” I wouldn’t even finish speaking before turning my back on them and continuing with my work. I would also use a monotone and tired tone of voice as if to signify that they are wasting their time.
Once Butcher states that he accepts Dogsborough’s answer, I would become more interested in the two men and their proposition. To show this, I would turn towards them and step closer. I would repeat my refusal, but use a softer, friendlier tone of voice. When saying “You’re on the wrong road… your business is perfectly sound”, I would put my glasses down and sit upon a stool in order to show that I am now willing to talk to Butcher and Flake. I would speak to them in an advisory manner, which would show Dogsborough to be not as black hearted as made out by the other characters.
At this point I think the audience should view him warily, but believe that he is a good and honest man, and therefore also place a sense of trust in him. I think by misleading the audience to believe that Dogsborough will be an obstacle in the rise of Arturo Ui will cause the play to be more unpredictable and exciting for the audience. Scene four opens with Dogsborough in his house, which was a gift from the cauliflower trust. When admitting “I should never have accepted this estate. Taking that package as a gift was beyond reproach. It is obvious that Dogsborough realises that his mistake will have repercussions.
To show this through his body language I would sit on a chair, with my elbows upon my knees and hold my head. This symbolises how weak he has become. At this point I would like the audience to regard Dogsborough sceptically, with the realisation that he is not as honest and trustworthy as they first thought. They will also be disappointed at seeing his weaknesses. To enhance this, whilst discussing his actions, I would say “That was wrong” in a loud voice and stress the word wrong as if punishing myself.