Craig and Bentley: Unit 1 Documentary Response (Draft) Our unit 1 drama exam was based on the case of Derek Bentley and Christopher Craig. Derek Bentley was a 19-year-old boy who experienced a severe accident at the age of 11 due to a bomb blast that caused the ceiling to fall onto his head. Soon after, his parents discovered Bentley was illiterate, and as he grew older, he developed a series of health and development problems. When Bentley was introduced to Christopher Craig, the true form of peer pressure emerged as he pushed Craig to take his first cigarette and to change his appearance. During their friendship, they were both charged with the murder of policemen, and Bentley was sentenced to death. The purpose of this exam was to understand the different personalities of both Craig and Bentley and how Bentley's influence caused Craig to also be involved in the murder. During our unit 1 exam, we were able to learn more about Bentley and Craig through the use of different activities we did.
Last Visit improvisation:
The last visit improvisation involved getting into groups and improvising a scene where Bentley's family came to visit him one last time whilst he was still in jail. During this scene, our main focus was to show sub-text during our performance, and this was achieved by using non-verbal communication. The use of non-verbal communication allowed us to focus on our character's facial expressions and body language, as due to the use of minimal talking, we had to clearly show our emotions. This scene, it allowed us to learn more about our individual characters as it was a critical moment in Bentley's life because it was possibly the last time he would see his family.
During our last visit improvisation, we decided to focus on Bentley's mother and father the most. This was because Bentley's parents would have been affected the most within his family as they thought they raised him the right way and couldn't help but be disappointed in not only Derek but themselves too. Whilst we were improvising this moment, it helped us to learn more about Derek's parents as they were trying to keep a positive atmosphere whilst talking to Derek as they did not want to upset Derek about his possible death sentence. We also discovered that his parents were trying to protect him due to how young he is emotionally and mentally, and if he found out he was definitely going to die, it could've affected him immensely whilst he was in jail.
In my group, we staged our performance in a way where Derek was sitting directly opposite his parents in order to show the audience the different feelings both Derek and his parents were feeling. As our main focus was sub-text, when I was playing the character Derek, movement and gestures were used when his parents arrived to depict his nervousness of Derek, from his shaky head and sweaty palms. As Derek emotionally could not physically say goodbye to his parents as he knew he was going to die, he tried to talk ab...