Throughout the scene, and indeed the rest of the play, Hare presents tensions in different ways, whether it be through the language use of the characters, the structure of their sentences or even the stage directions. Perhaps the most prominent tension that Hare has presented in this scene is in the relationship between Barry and Sandra. The pair find themselves alone within the police station and immediately the audience understands that they are romantically involved, but are keeping it a secret. “I do get tired of the secrecy. It makes the whole thing seem silly.
Assignations. Times and places. ” It’s already been made clear that their relationship is strained, with Barry describing it as if it was work. However, it’s through the language of Sandra that the tensions between the two are made obvious to the audience. “Don’t you rather like that? ”, “Hasn’t it? ”, “is that what you mean? ”. Sandra’s frequent questioning suggests annoyance with what Barry’s saying, unable to understand or accept his speech. Hare also uses sentence structure to express the tensions between the pair. ‘How are you? Fine. I haven’t seen you. No. Hare has used very short sentences to further demonstrate that the relationship is strained, with an awkwardness and hesitation in their communication. To add even more to this effect, Hare uses the stage directions to show just how tense it is. ‘(She waits)’, ‘(He waits a moment)’, ‘(There’s a pause)’. Hare uses pauses and moments of silence to create an atmosphere where even the audience feel uncomfortable. However it’s not just awkwardness that Hare uses the stage directions to demonstrate, he also presents anger. ‘(He is suddenly firm, as if his patience were worn down’.
This shows that Barry is obviously very annoyed with Sandra or perhaps himself, creating a very tense atmosphere. Since this scene includes of the policemen and women, Hare presents other tensions separate to Barry and Sandra’s relationship. For example, Hare develops on the audience’s understanding that there is tension between the police force and how their profession works; a message Hare has put forwards in several of the previous scenes. This is demonstrated immediately with Jimmy’s opening speech. “An officer on the beat witnesses, actually witnesses, one crime every ten years”.
Jimmy is expressing his annoyance with the fact that the police are unable to catch criminals, since they’re stuck doing paper work most of the time. Hare also presented this issue through Barry’s speech in Act 1 Scene 5. “If you never made any arrests, you’d all be out on the streets all the time, and London would be so much better policed”. This shows that they are obviously unhappy with how they must perform their duties, showing the tension between the police and their own profession. This relates to the context of the play and the fact that at that time, the police force were failing to act upon the vast majority of crimes.
Hare also uses Jimmy’s speech to present the tensions between the police and the judiciary, a point which Hare demonstrates throughout the play. “There’s maybe thirty-five cases. Most of them you haven’t got a chance”. Jimmy is angered that the judiciary aren’t able to prosecute all these criminals with lots of evidence against them. Barry uses this argument to justify his corrupt actions against the Gerard and the other men, knowing he needed some hard evidence. “You’re allowed a way of doing things which is actually your own”. Hare shows this tension between the two systems on the side of the judiciary in Act 2 Scene 2 with Sir Peter. Just imagine the scale of your problem if the police began to have some significant success”. Hare has presented that both the judiciary and the police feel that the other side are the ones responsible for letting criminals go free. Hare also presents tension within the judiciary with the characters of Sir Peter and Cuddeford. In Act 1 Scene 2, Hare shows an obvious rivalry between the two as they discuss Sir Peter’s radio appearance. Once again Hare uses short sentences to suggest annoyance and bitterness. “No”, “Indeed”, “I see”. Cuddeford is obviously uninterested or jealous so he uses brief responses to try to limit Sir Peter’s boasting. If ‘fallible’ is how you wished to appear…it’s none if my business”. Cuddeford’s language is also used to present the competiveness and tension between them. Hare has used a variety of techniques to show many different forms of tension in Act 2 Scene 3 and the play as whole. The character’s language is perhaps the most obvious clue when spotting anger or annoyance, but it’s through stage directions and sentence structure that Hare fully demonstrates tension; whether it be of a romantic nature with Barry and Sandra, an ignorance with the police and the judiciary, or the rivalry between Cuddeford and Sir Peter.