chapter  6
14 Pages

Less is more: working with playscipts in Key Stage 2

ByVivien Wilson

Of all the literary forms encountered by pupils within the primary school, the playscript is perhaps the most elusive because of its indirect relationship with the reader. This statement may appear contradictory – the reading of a playscript is said to appeal to pupils because of its accessibility: clear layout, short speeches and active collaboration through group reading (DfES 2001). In the case of many playscript texts available to pupils in primary schools this argument is undoubtedly true. However, it can also be argued that these texts are not actually playscripts in the fullest sense of the word; they exemplify features of playscript in terms of layout, but do not always lend themselves to further dramatic interpretation, so that the essential purpose of the written form becomes obscured. The reader engages directly with narrative, poetic and non-fiction texts as an individual, but the playscript is only a partial version of the final text, which will be interpreted by the actor (and/or director) and then presented for further interpretation to the audience. The script is a signpost on the way to the full realisation of the multimodal text, which is the performance.