Noughts and Crosses: style

Noughts and Crosses: style

Style and Setting

  • “Noughts and Crosses”, based on a novel by Malorie Blackman, is written as a contemporary tragedy. Both classic and modern tragic elements are incorporated in the play, including dramatic irony, tragic heroes, tragic flaws, and catastrophic or sad endings.
  • The play makes use of a dystopian setting, which is a common element in speculative and science fiction dramas. The dystopia here serves as a metaphor for racial segregation and discrimination.
  • Blackman’s story is often referred to as being written in the style of ‘alternate history’. This approach allows the author to create a reflexion of our current society and question its norms and taboos.
  • The play also employs a style of social realism, depicting contemporary social issues like police brutality, terrorism, racial prejudice, and interracial relationships, making its themes relatable and impactful.

Dramatic Techniques

  • Important stylistic elements include direct address, dramatic monologues, and soliloquy. These narrative techniques are used to establish an intimate connection between the characters and the audience, inviting individuals to empathise with each character’s plight.
  • Cross-cutting is used to switch between different scenes and timelines. This theatrical technique keeps the pace of the narrative and engages the audience’s attention.
  • The play uses minimum set and props, relying heavily on the power of the actors’ performance and lighting to convey changes in location and mood.
  • Symbolism is frequently used as a dramatic device. The title itself ‘Noughts & Crosses’ is symbolic, representing the stark binary and division within the society.

Language and Characterisation

  • The style of the play is immersive, often breaking the fourth wall which compels the audience to be part of the story and challenge their perspectives.
  • The dialogue is naturalistic and the character’s language changes according to their social class and situation, providing depth to the characters and their circumstances.