Choose two servants and two scenes from ‘The Rivals’ and explain how you would direct them to show the role of that character and how it would create humour.
In act 1 scene 1, we are introduced to Fag, the male servant of Captain Jack Absolute. Fag is an object of humour, we learn he loves gossip, and has an eye for fashion, but the real comedy is in how he aspires to be like his master. Fag’s appearance would be quite slim and would walk laid back, but self-conscious, each step would be overacted to show he is trying to walk like this, it doesn’t come naturally. He would also carry a fashionable cane along with quite a high quality outfit, due to the fact he works for a wealthy man, however, Fag likes to think it is because he is an equal to his master and is of high society. Fags gestures would be done in a gracious way, he is very conscious of himself but over emphasises most of what he says and does because he wants to be seen as a gentleman of high breeding and so tries to imitate them.
Fag is no better than any other servant, but likes to think him self higher, showing his character as humorous. In scene 1 we see how he tries to show his superiority over Coachman by the way he greets him. Coachman holds out his hand to shake hands with Fag and he in return keeps his glove on, as a sign of rudeness. For this I would have Fag hold out is hand in a delicate way, like a lady would do for a man to kiss it, palm down. He is very aware of Coachman’s appearance being rougher and quite dirty due to the travelling he did and so places his palm out, reluctant to touch him. Then says his line, “Excuse my glove”, as he retracts his hand quickly and subtly to Coachman, but obviously to the audience, and wipes it on his coat.
Fag is also condescending to Coachman, when he puts down the Coachman by saying, “(as you may get read to you)” also showing off that he himself can read. To show that Fag thinks he is above Coachman, when he delivers this line, I would have him...