Some characters say very little while some say a lot.
Lou, Mark and Jan
Lou, Mark and Jan often speak using one word, short phrases and simple sentences. Mark and Jan repeat each other’s words sometimes to clarify their understanding of events. From p9 -
Jan: Like dead, dead
Jan: proper dead, not living dead?
Mark: Not living dead, yes
Other times their repetition is used to convince each other that their actions are justified.
Jan: Trying to be part of
Mark: Yeah, trying to be part of, yeah, yeah, so we’re having a laugh
Jan: With him
Mark: Yeah, with him….
Throughout the scene where Jan and Mark tell the group about what has happened to Adam (20- 23), Kelly chooses to contrast the ideas that Adam is having a laugh with Jan and Mark and other language that shows how scared he is. Some of the language used is slang (pegging=throwing)
Having a laugh: Hanging around, laughing, complete nutter, laughing his head off, joking
Acts of bullying: Eat some leaves, burnt his own socks, nick some vodka, punch, stubbed out cigarettes on him terrified, pegging stones, walking on the grille, chucking stones….really hard.
Leah and Phil
Leah’s speeches are virtual monologues. She appears to be talking a lot about very little that makes sense. She often starts sentences and topics but does not finish them and this makes her seem erratic. Her speeches do not flow and are interrupted by continual use of fillers ‘you know,’ and repeating words and phrases. Punctuation is limited which shows that she is speaking continually and without pause (unless indicated by stage directions). She often asks questions (directed to Phil) which she then answers herself, possibly knowing she will not get an answer anyway.
Her speech is in direct contrast to Phil’s speech (when he does speak), which is well structured and punctuated. He speaks in full sentences and his speeches have clear direction, unlike Leah’s speeches that lack focus. The fact he is silent when the other characters are panicking or explaining their actions shows that he is carefully considering his responses before issuing the instructions to the group. See Act 1 Scene 3 and Act 2 Scene 3.
Kelly chooses his language and his speech structure carefully to show that John Tate is not in control of the situation:
John Tate: Alright. New rule; that word is banned (p15)
John Tate: and if anyone says it I’m going to have to, you know, bite their face. Or something (p15)
John Tate: I’m finding this all quite stressful (p19)
As with Leah, John Tate’s speech is erratic and jumps between topics as he is thinking about many things at one time:
John Tate: exactly, exactly, that’s what I’m saying – Richard, you’re scared of, are you…? I mean you walk down the corridor in this p I don’t think Richard’s – any corridor…. (p13)