Back in the 1980’s (My heyday or teen years!) I enjoyed doing little theatre. It was and probably still is a highly competitive world and as I didn’t care to compete I eventually gave it up.
It also seemed weird to me to have to pay someone to be bossy and obnoxious towards myself and others, forcing us to do scenes or plays that were to be honest, confrontational or bizarre. Im all for challenging oneself but having to do street theatre where we the group of actors were to pretend to be part of the crowd then suddenly form a group in the main street of Auckland city and perform a scene and songs from the Gay Policeman’s Ball to an unsuspecting public at a time when gay rights were a sensitive subject and likely to end up with us being publicly beaten or abused;
I politely declined being a part of it. In a theatre situation I was quite happy to do such a performance but not on the street, as to me it would have looked like a demonstration or protest and I simply wasn’t keen to be put in that situation. I guess acting just wasn’t my thing after all, instead I think its best if Im instead part of the appreciative audience and that I watch the professionals work their magic instead!
So why do we enjoy live theatre? Most people go to see a live production because there is nothing more thrilling than seeing the fruits of the collaboration between the author, the producer, the director, the actors and the production team, we cant forget the behind the scenes stuff like who controls the set, who makes and helps with the costumes, the people or person behind the special effects like lighting and sound and so on. Never mind the interaction of the live audience that creates the electric atmosphere A good production is absolutely magical; even when only parts of it work it is still exciting and you tend to forgive the odd hiccup of live performance as endearing and special. There is nothing quite like watching actors right there in front of you turn into their characters and transporting you into their world for a while.
These days I try to see a bit of live theatre when I hear of any up and coming shows, as it’s nice to see fellow artists performing their craft and taking you to another world. Sadly it is often the case now that attendance is declining, what with all the choice of entertainment beamed live to your home, high definition TV, Sky and so on, that it just seems to be an easier option to stay home. Nothing beats a night out seeing live theatre though, we juts need to encourage others to attend and be part of it all. The more we attend, the more shows there will be and the more choice. Besides it’s a nice chance to put on your glad rags and meet other people.
Posted: Sunday 4 April 2010