I am not sure why I like theatre so much. It can’t be about the shared experience because I am not a huge cinema fan, and no, theatre audiences aren’t more behaved than cinemas audiences! So that leaves the aspect of live art- a feeling that despite all the rehearsals, all the preparation it could all go wrong on the night.
The fact that, overall, it doesn’t is due to all the skill involved; from Front of House to stage managers, lighting, costume and sound hiding at the back whilst the actors take to the stage. It is a collective effort that the audience are fully part of whether that be through passive participation or the more active involvement of immersive theatre.
I love that theatre is always trying to do new things; tell new stories, tell old stories in a different way than before but I hate that so much of the more experimental theatre in London struggles, I hate that many people feel that theatre isn’t relevant to them and that they aren’t welcome. Theatre, whether watching or participating, has something for everyone.
London theatre’s strength is the number of different stories and perspectives it can give audiences. Even on the glitzy West End there are such a range of shows that it is impossible to be bored of what it offers. How many opportunities do you get to see your favourite film or TV actor in the flesh? The West End attracts some of the most prolific and talented actors around. I’ve been very fortunate to see some great actors both at their peak and as they emerge. If you have any doubts about what theatre can offer the truth is it is one of the few mediums where you feel like you are truly part of the experience.
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