Introduction and overview

The Globe theatre London
The Globe theatre, London

Reading a novel is something that you would usually do on your own - watching a play in the theatre is very much a shared experience. An audience is made up of different sorts of people, all of whom will react differently to what they see and hear. We react differently to novels too, but not usually at the same time.

Another key difference is that a novel is like a finished building, whereas the script for a play is more like the foundations of a building. The words will be built on by a director and the actors and this will be further enhanced by costumes, lighting, scenery and a whole host of technical and artistic choices. These will influence how the audience reacts to the play. The three key areas we are going to look at are:

  • casting choices
  • performance choices
  • staging choices

Dramatisation is all about getting the play off the page and onto the stage. The following video clips will help your understanding of the process.