What do they know of theatre who only theatre know?
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
As Pirate Dog curls up at my feet, I read once again Lyn Gardner’s Guardian blog about people sleeping in the theatre. She makes the interesting point that while, nowadays, talking in the audience is seen as rude and disruptive, gently snoozing during a performance is somehow okay. Of course, the sound of snoring can be as irritating as the bright little screens of mobiles being used to txt, and it usually goes on much longer. Gardner’s piece suggests, as Peter Brook has done in the past, that part of the responsibility for boring theatre lies with the performers and with the production. If the piece is dull enough, all you can expect from the audience is zzz... One solution is younger audiences, another is uncomfortable seats. I noticed that for Mike Bartlett’s Cock, at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, the makeshift staging has hard seats with no backs. If you fall asleep in this show, you’ll not slump, but fall over.
“There’s nothing more terrifying than a teenager with something to say! You mark my words gel, you’ll be running this country! Even if you’re too pig ignorant to see it now!” (Glenda in Clara Brennan’s Spine)