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A very noticeable and deliberate technique in Billy Bishop goes to War is the character representation. Eric Peterson plays Billy Bishop and is accompanied by John Gray who narrates whilst playing the piano.
Peterson, playing the part of Bishop, retells his stories - in the first adaptation from Bishop's book, Winged Warfare, of Bishop's first 48 successful flying missions. By telling the stories,Bishop's very personal accounts and adding music and a narrator for emphasis, the audience is able to get a visual image of events and the dramatic effect is thus intensified.
There is an element of mystery and intrigue in Billy Bishop and being able to relay this to the audience ensures that the audience will want to connect with that. He is down-to-earth and not academically minded. He does not have a strategy as a great commander would have to defeat the enemy and he is singleminded in his quest.
Billy Bishop Goes to War was so successful because Gray and Peterson were able to build this into their representation. Who wouldn't want to be proud of this unpretentious, patriotic man?
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