RGSS Play: The Greatest Show

A few weeks ago, my family and I went to go see the RGSS yearly play. In this blog, I will share my thoughts and how they could have improved the play. 

First, I think it will be best to give a short summary of the play. Most of the plot revolves around a circus and three characters, two siblings and a doctor. Basically, the circus is having financial troubles while the doctor wants to run them into the ground. Eventually, the circus makes a come back by making their show more grander. However, this hot streak is foiled by the doctor when she sends orphans to sabotage the circus. When the circus realize how much collateral damage could happen, they need to decide what to do with the orphans. The brother of the two siblings wants to let them go as not to damage the circuses reputation. On the other hand, the sister wants to keep the orphan and not throw them back out on the streets. In the end, the circus splits and each sibling goes their own way, taking their part of the circus with them. Eventually, the brother begins to loose his grip on his part of the circus and realizes money and fame isn’t everything. In the last scene, he runs back to his sister and the circus is reunited. That is a general summary of the play with no subplots included. 

In my opinion, it is not a bad play and if done right could be quite entertaining. However, I have a few problems with it. To start off, the timing feels very weird. The play was 2 hours and 30 minutes, which is already very long for a play. In that time, the circus was split at the 1 hour 45 minute mark. What this meant was that the rest of the play, climax, resolution, and everything else had to fit in 45 minutes. After the intermission, everything just felt rushed. My second gripe revolves around the romantic subplot. In the play, there is this playwright and actor that had a relationship in the past, but separated after the playwright placed his social status and parents opinion above his girlfriend. The whole point of this subplot was to reignite their relationship, a very basic romance subplot. Unfortunately, they messed it up with really bad timing. There just wasn’t enough time to flesh out the characters and make me care. My third problem was just the all the technical mess ups. I don’t know how other the plays went, but I could see a lot of fumbling. For example, during one scene, the playwright and sister were spinning on this table and would both raise a glass afterwards. Unfortunately, during the spinning the playwrights glass fell off the table, making him do a weird transition into raising the glass. Finally, there was the musical numbers. I’m already not really that big into musicals and this experience didn’t help that fact. It was fine, just really uncoordinated in some numbers. I found when there were more people, there were always more mess ups. Personally, I found the solos and duets much more entertaining, even if some of them didn’t even fit the theme of the play.

To address these problems, I feel the people participating need to take it more seriously, meaning they actually want to act. I know from experience that even if you hate preforming, you need to do it for the marks. However, this just leads too bad acting. I’m not accusing anyone of intuitionally dragging the play down, but a smaller more enthusiastic cast would help. Second, narrowing down the plot. The romantic subplot was okay, it just felt so rushed and shoehorned in. To fix this, I would personally mesh it together with the main plot. Instead of having a brother and sister pair run the circus, maybe a couple instead? For example let’s call the guy A and the girl B. After the circus begins to gain notoriety, A plans for a proposal only for the doctor to ruin everything. The split of the circus could still happen, however, now with the add twist of B ending their relationship due to his pursuit of money and fame. This could leave A heartbroken, leading to a decline in sales and leading him to become even more heartless. With the performers beginning to realize A has lost it, they begin to leave one by one. Now all alone A begins to realize his mistake and rushes to B’s performance like in the play. If done this way, we could still have an entertaining plot and even a romantic proposal at the end. As an added benefit, it would also mean they could cut out the playwright and actor almost completely, leading to more time. However, this is just how I would have done the play. 

Overall, I think the play had its moments. I like the idea, it just could have been executed better. Would I like to see it again? Not really. I feel like it more comparable to those recitals for students, it’s mostly for friends and family. Like I said before, the people acting need to be enthusiastic about it. Forcing people to do something they don’t want to is just disaster waiting to happen. 

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