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Unit 6 Portfolio

Lily Warawi



Lantern Theatre

Paines Plough

1812 productions

Broken Biscuits: other productions:

Tom Wells

Tom Wells is an English playwright who has written multiple plays. His plays are mostly comedic, witty, and are based around friendship or young people, some of these include: Broken Biscuits, Jumpers for Goalposts, The Kitchen Sink, and Folk. In an interview with 'What's on stage', Tom explains that:" I wasn’t always interested in theatre, but I always wanted to be a writer. When I finished university I didn’t know what to do and the West Yorkshire Playhouse ran a scheme where you just wrote them a letter saying why you wanted to write and the sort of things you wanted to write about. I did that and got on it and then it was a happy accident that it turned out that I really liked theatre. Phew." He lives in Hull and is currently under commission to the Royal Court and the National Theatre, and is an Associate Artist of Middle Child.

The play Broken Biscuits explores the ups and downs of teenagers growing up and finding themselves. Adolescence is a sensitive time in any persons life, there's alot of pressure; grades, popularity, and the fear of growing older and having to be more responsible. Tom Wells, the writer of the play investigates this by highlighting the issues that each character faces. Holly appears to be more introverted rather than extroverted when it comes to the three characters, she is polite and is quite timid, especially at the start of the play. It appears that Holly has been living in the cold shadow of Megan throughout secondary school. Megan however is alot more down to earth, sharp, and sarcastic. Ben is half and half, therer are times where he is confident like Megan, but still sympathizes with Holly and is genrally more sensible than Megan. Psychologically this play shows the depth of childhood friendship, and how as we grow older, we realise that those we are closest too and have known for a long time, might not be the same people we knew when we first met them. On the surface Megan is painted to look like the mean friend who doesn't care about her mates at all. When in reality I think she cares about the group the most. In the play we learn that Holly has a job at Sainsbury's, where she has met a "cute boy", she also has a great interest in computers, something that her and Megan do not have in common, and by the sounds of things Holly wants to pursure a long career in it. Holly has it all figured out, and that's what scares Megan the most, Holly leaving her. Same goes for Ben, he has not applied to the college and this shocks Megan; in scene three, Ben states "Yeah, I had a chat with my Mum, she said to keep my options opens for a bit for now." To which Megan abruptly replies with:"That is mental, what else are you off to do? get a job? Lol." The realization begins to hit Megan. Her friends are moving on, and additonally Ben states that he has a job already. Megan begins to sort of guilt-trip Ben, by exclaiming:"Or like, go somewhere else, without us, where you've got no mates and you have to do all your coming out again, and they wont be as open minded as me and holly? Good one." Megan panics, as at this moment in year 11, she has an emotional advantage over Ben and Holly; she has always been able to be mean to them, not have any common interests and they still remain to be close mates, as they are all used to it. But as soon as a new start arises, like year 12 for example, Ben and Holly will realise they can do so much better; Megan, cannot. Megan will not be able to make a new set of friends the same way in which Ben and Holly will, or atleast she fears will be the case. The play's whole premise is based around the idea of the band. And Megan is the one that initiated the plan. Megan claims that she wants to win the band competiton to be cool, when in reality this "band" is just a bubble in which they can all be together. Megan is aware that inevitability Holly and Ben will outgrow her, so attempts to keep them by creating an elaborate ruse: a band. Another theme explored is sexuality. Ben, is openly gay and very comfortable with it; around Megan and Holly. I feel like Ben carries a lot of troubles that may not be necessarily highlighted in the play. It is implied that Ben's father is abusive, and left. This could have effected Ben's outlook on his gender as he saw how violent his male father was; he also brings this up about Volkswagen Martin's sons. An article from 'GALOP' did a study which revealed that : 43% Trans and non-binary people surveyed had experienced higher levels of abuse from a family member or members. And that : 29% of LGBT+ people surveyed had experienced abuse from a family members or members. Megan gets very frustated with Ben's dress and sexuality. She claims it's because she doesn't want him to get beaten up, and that probably is true. But she also desperately wants them all to 'fit in', and with Ben being 'gay', they can't do that. I also personally think that Megan, may of, in the early stages of her and Ben's friendship, may of had a crush on Ben. They have many inside jokes and are obviously close, and intially a boy taking interest in Megan may have shocked her. So it hurts her to see Ben like this as she may of once had feelings for him. But Ben really comes out of his shell throughout the play and he really grows more confident.

Main Themes:

Broken Biscuits:

My Character

I played the character of Holly. Holly is a brainy, timid, and self-conscious young girl. It is clear at the very start of the play that she lives in the shadow of Megan, who is the sort of dictator of the group. Holly fully is aware of this but has always lived with this sort of hierachy as it has always been the natural order. In the play Holly is given an oppurtunity to finally leave this never-ending loop. This is the new school year, getting a job at Sainsbury's, and meeting a boy named Dean. These are all chances for Holly to get up and leave Megan, but because she is a kind person she won't. She needs a reason. And in the play she gets her reason; Megan is realising that she is going to lose her only friends and tries to scare them into staying. An example of this is when Holly is really excited about her date with Dean, but Megan just throws loads of bad endings onto her to make her nervous. Megan knows nothing about sex yet still goes on and on to Holly about it, in the for of a joke ofcourse but it is because Megan is jealous that she will never have what Holly has because she is just not a nice person. Holly see's this as her final oppurtunity to say goodbye to Megan, as she will not continue to be treated like that or let Ben be. Holly holds so much self-doubt after years of being emotionally abused by Megan, but she finally breaks through the fear of making Megan upset and moves on. In my opnion Holly is the least liked in Megan's eyes, as Ben and Megan seem to have some sort of inside joke sort of chemistry that isn't shown in Holly and Megan's relationship. Ben always tries to get Holly to react but it is out of pity, and Holly knows this. I think Holly's upbringing has been fairly okay. I think her parents are introverted and want Holly to do the best she can in school, as she is an A star student and loves computers. She talks about getting into college and how to wants to stay friends with the band, but in reality i'm sure she just wants to focus on her work and becoming succesfull rather than popularity.

Broken Biscuits: The Play

My intial thoughts about the play were that alot of the scenes felt quite repetitive, and that especially in scene 1, they were too long. And when you are in a small set where there's not much to do, it can be quite dry for an audience,as there's only so much you can do in a shed realistically speaking. Other than that i think it's a relatable story to many, as it hits you with a wave of nostaligia to when you were younger. From an adults perspective, it may remind them of when they were children going through tough friendships, as Holly, Ben anf Megan's biggest problem in life was this band. It covered up Ben's hard home life, Megan's insecurities, and also Holly's stresses. It's kind of like why alot of adults still like Disney films or things like that, as an audience go back to a time that , at the time, seemed so hard, when in reality it was not. The play highlight's the importance of not taking things for granted, as you don't know how good something is until it's gone. In this review written by 'Howard Shapiro', he explains that he believes the characters look "feeble in whatever they do". And : "instead of full-blown characters, we get a one-dimensional picture of failure." I disagree with this, as I think he has deeply misunderstood the concept of these three friends. I think it might be one of those things that only some people get because they have had a friendship like that, but these characters are all individually troubled in my eyes, and they are all extremely different. None of them are 'failures' as they are only 15, the whole point trying to be proven is that there is so many expectations put on young people in their early life to be the greatest and to be popular and funny and attractive and successful, when in reality, noone at that age can be. The band is bad because they are still learning, and they're rushing into something that they haven't all entirely agreed on, or even know if they want. And they're doing it for the wrong reasons. Exactly how it is for a teenager in real life, how you are expected to chose a career when you don't even know how to use a tin opener. The play revolves around children trying to be adults, it's upsetting but a realistic example of what it's like to be a teenager.

Scene Progression

My scenes came along really well I thought, with ideas stemming from loads of different people. Offically Holly plays a flute, but I switched it to her using a mixer. It sort of makes more sense as she loves computers, but a flute also gives connotations of sophsitication and grace, something that Holly has. It was just alot of rehearsing that made the scenes better. It's so much easier to play with a scene when you know your lines, so it was just making sure I was 100 on those as quickly as possible. We don't have much space to work with so it was quite challenging to keep it engaging whilst in a small area, but in my head I tried to make it so that there was a person in each corner of the room as much so that there were many angles. There were times where two people would be on the sofa, so it was ensuring that both actors could be seen and heard and that I wasn't shileding anyone on the seat whilst maintaining my character's pose. Working with props as soon as possible is really key aswell as as soon as you get those movements into your muscle memory it becomes so much easier to actually act out your lines. There were some little moments that I wish I had highlighted more in the performance, like in scene 3 when Megan is talking badly about Holly to Ben, she is sort of talking about her as if she isn't there, so instead of her saying her whole paragraph and then straight away saying "No offence," maybe she could of paused, let Ben give her a look then said no offence like, Holly's actually right there. Also throughout my two scenes I tried to make my Holly very slowly et more fed up of Megan, like in the start she's kind of quite scared of giving her a snarky look or something, but by the end I really am just fed up of her. It's like, Holly is a super nice person but even she is losing the will a bit here.


I went through multiple different ideas but this was the one I finished with. Lost my Apple pencil so was painful. The dress, headphones, drums, GCSEs and AMP are all features.