When working in theatre, we tend to be very selfish people. We get caught in our creative bubbles, in the joy of our performance or show and rarely do we see it in any other light than that of good. Excellence of the highest praise! Of course this is naturally to be expected.
Someone has spent many hours going over the words, finding the right pace of dialogue and just the right adjective to make an audience fall about laughing. A strong figure has sort about directing the piece, and the actors have spent many a night learning their line and ensuring they don’t perspire too much in the costume that has been made for them.
Yet, despite all of the effort that has gone into a show. Sometimes we, the audience, won’t like it.
That’s not to say we can’t appreciate the effort that has gone into it, the fact we are there in the first place shows some kind of commitment that we wanted to go and enjoy ourselves. We have duly paid our money, and arrived in our seat to watch, but that doesn’t mean we will enjoy what we see.
The problem may not even be the play itself, for as audiences we are naturally humans, and with this strange concept comes emotion, desires, day dreams, inabilities and a long list of faults and natural qualities. This is to say – sometimes things affect us before we even make it to the theatre which can determine the whole outcome of a show, regardless of time, effort and love put into it.
It’s a sad fact to be made. If we are held up by traffic, as Mark Shenton reported this week for a show, and only just manage to slip into your seat before the show starts – this could knock the whole show into the woes for you. Equally, not managing to get your favourite seat in the theatre as Lyn Gardner spoke of her fond memories in her blog last week. These all play a part on our perspectives on the show.
That is to say, if in the course of leaving our homes or work, we have travelled a terrible journey, had trouble collecting our tickets as we don’t have the right card with us – we find the drinks over priced, the programme lacking in anything but advertisements and our seat anything but comfy – we might just not enjoy the show.
Of course I would hope that the show I am attending would have the ability to knock me sideways, bring me out of my gloom and blow away the cob webs of regret. Yet we all know that sometimes that sensational theatre experience isn’t to be had every time we go to the theatre.
So to the producers, the actors, the directors, and everyone involved in theatre. Let it be clear: as audiences we are human, and with this comes the ability for our moods and sensitivities to every little detail in our night at the theatre to affect the way we see your show.
So don’t be offended when we don’t enjoy it – sometimes, it’s just not our day for theatre. Oh, and everything, every little thing we encounter on route to our seat matters, even if it happens outside of the building.