I see a lot of theatre productions, obviously, and whilst I still enjoy seeing new shows, new ideas and a creative piece that is genuinely exciting, I am starting to feel apathetic to much of what I see.
Classic 1953 play by the English Chekhov is fascinating, but rather dated in its values and too clumsy in its production.
New drama about a desperate single mother is powerfully written and raises some disturbing issues.
Fact of the day: London staged 22 per cent of all theatre shows in England in 2014, up from 19 per cent in 2013.
Game of Thrones celebrity casting can’t save a misconceived, vulgarly populist updating of this Renaissance classic.
Favourite stage direction: “As the audience enters, it seems there is almost nothing on stage.”
Latest short from the fab Caryl Churchill is a surprisingly intense and uncomfortable play about death, reviewed on the last night of its short season at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre.
Last week, I trekked down to the Orange Tree Theatre to see the recast revival of Deborah Bruce’s The Distance, which had first been staged there in October 2014.
Theatre should be an adventure. At least some of the time. But often it isn’t. So much of the time it’s rather predictable and, dare I say, a bit boring. After going to the theatre for many years, the whole experience is so well known that every cell in your body moves through the street, into foyer and then into your seat without half your senses being aware of the process. So it’s great that with their latest show, Invisible Treasure, theatre-makers fanSHEN join a cohort of groups whose aim is to shake up audience expectations.
This week I have been exploring the world of definitions in the arts, and the expectations we have when we choose one way of looking at an artform or particular aspect of the arts from another.
I work in theatre (with or without a 4th wall) and my understanding of the role of the audience is that it is the missing element which brings a performance alive – whether through its laughter or tears, or its direct interactions with the character. For me, without some form of interaction, the art is left the same as when it was on the page, or alone on a gallery wall.