I went to see a new play at the Artscape Arena the other night (‘Stone‘ by Angus Robinson). This one was unusual in that it was still a ‘work in progress’, so although it was performed like any other play, the audience was invited to give feedback to the playwright and director at the end.
An interesting idea. The drawback to this interesting idea was the fact that only ‘theatre types’ were prepared to offer comment. You can spot them a mile away: they wear brightly coloured or sparkly outfits; they tend to overdo their makeup just a tad; and they all talk with the unmistakeable croak of hardened smokers (smoking is compulsory in acting circles). The regular audience members, whose opinions would probably have been the most useful, shrank back in their seats and waited for the ordeal to end. The discussions were liberally peppered with expressions like “didn’t work for me”; “didn’t make sense”; and “doesn’t quite gel”. The writer and company took these with extremely good grace, but since I was in the third row, I could see how much jaw-clamping was necessary for them to achieve this.
I told them how much I enjoyed it. This earned me many looks of chilly disdain from the theatre types, but they can all go and stick their heads back where the sun don’t shine. It’s a good play.