Everyone’s a critic

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.

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12 thoughts on “Everyone’s a critic

  1. You weren’t accosted by my friend Shaun at Masque Theatre recently were you? He went to see a production there I think last night – not sure of name. Told him to grab the handsome bald dude and tell him Bee sez HI. Teehee.

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  2. The trouble with going to the theatre is it tends to be swamped with ‘theatre types’ of the sort you describe. The trouble with going to art galleries is that they are swamped with ‘gallery types’. The trouble with…you get my gist, I ‘m sure.

    Anne does have a valid point? What’s wrong with smokers? 🙂

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  3. bee: Wahahahahahaah! I’d love to have seen that. I’m not in the show and I’m not bald (devilishly handsome, though). Incidentally, the latest Masque production is called ‘Day of Reckoning’ and I’m going to see it on Saturday.

    anne: Smoking’s fine, but I wouldn’t want to do it for a living.

    nomad: I know exactly what you mean about types – unavoidable. BTW, Anne said ING, not ERS.

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  4. Good on you, KN, for stating honestly what you thought of the show, even if it went against the grain of those in the “know”.
    Damn, I hate pseudo-intellectuals and ppl who posture themselves to be whatever the occasion calls for.
    Btw, i thought the baldie reference could not be you… it would have been a hoot if he had “accosted” the wrong person.

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  5. I agree with Nomad — the world of the arts, no matter which art it is, is filled with “types”. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Combine that with an “artistic temperament” and the kind of ego it requires to succeed in the arts and nobody ends up listening anyway. They’re too busy performing.

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  6. Ja, I’d be the one to voice an opinion completely opposite to what the others say, just for the hell of it. It’s really funny to watch Theatre Types gasp dramatically all at the same time, hands flying up to their mouths in synchronised shock 🙂

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  7. chitty: All those damned meetings finally paid off. It’s fun to break the groupthink mindset on occasion.

    angel: Surely not?

    andrea: Is that the sound of a hammer hitting a nail on the head? I think it is.

    terri: Interestingly enough, I don’t take the contrary viewpoint as a matter of policy (the Devil doesn’t pay too well, so I’m not fond of being his advocate), but I do hate pointless criticism. If you don’t like something, say so and don’t dress it up to sound like it’s anything more than an opinion.

    zube girl: Me too, mostly. Depends on the context, though.

    livewire: A bit of both. Naturally 🙂

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  8. well… i don’t actually “hang out” in theatres a lot, but i do like to go and watch- and then there’s the clothes (love beads and sequins- like a crow i cannot resist shiny things) there’s the make-up.. and i stopped smoking a while ago but i have a slight croak! waaaahahahahahaha, gotta tell my mother!

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