What role does theatre play in your life?

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What role does theatre play in your life?

Post  Scorp on Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:58 am

Any thoughts welcome, got to discuss this as part of a project for the Society of London Theatre on Thursday. Particularly interested if you're aged 25 or younger (if you are please say so!), but thoughts from anyone welcome.

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Re: What role does theatre play in your life?

Post  operafantomet on Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:26 pm

I actually think the thing you mentioned on FB - about football and some sports borderlining theatre - is an interesting one. The Roman empire, for example, build giant stadiums (like the Colosseum) and filled them with entertainment of all kinds. Gladiator fights, drama, comedy, animal battles, speeches... Sometimes the line between staged drama and real drama was crossed, for example when a condemned soul was executed for real within the story. Or so the story tells, anyway.

All these performances were of course a way to entertain the masses. But they also reflected life, and so sport events weren't too different from theatre. Albeit the same might not apply to modern sport events, there is a fair deal of theatre and "staged" action in for example football. There are people who love sports and hate theatre (and, admittedly vice-versa). So obviously there is a big difference between them. But still... but still...

Well, that was not so much of a question than a thought. Smile

But I have noticed that it's a lot more accepted to see the same musical over and over again, especially amongst youngsters. No, I'm not referring solely to POTO... Musical theatre in general seems to generate a new audience, and they stay remarkably faithful to their favourites, and is not embarrassed to tell that they've seen it six, seven, maybe eight times. Even in Norway. I don't think that would have happened 15 years ago. I wonder if spoken theatre experience a similar tendency?

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Re: What role does theatre play in your life?

Post  operafantomet on Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:44 pm

Funny, today there were a two-page spread in a Norwegian newspaper about theatre goers getting younger and younger. They claim this is partly due to theatres trying to attract youngsters in their repertoire, and partly because many countries/cities has gotten various theatre discount cards for youngsters. Covent Garden is mentioned, with festival for youngsters, family productions, 5 pound tickets and school events.

Again, no particular questions from me, but interesting to see theatres having a strategy on this.

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Re: What role does theatre play in your life?

Post  Scorp on Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:52 pm

operafantomet wrote:
But I have noticed that it's a lot more accepted to see the same musical over and over again, especially amongst youngsters. No, I'm not referring solely to POTO... Musical theatre in general seems to generate a new audience, and they stay remarkably faithful to their favourites, and is not embarrassed to tell that they've seen it six, seven, maybe eight times. Even in Norway. I don't think that would have happened 15 years ago. I wonder if spoken theatre experience a similar tendency?

Well straight plays don't tend to have such long runs, which makes repeat viewings over a long period difficult.

As far as musicals inspiring a bizarre sort of brand loyalty among people, I think that probably all started back in the 80s as a result of Cammie's marketing of the megamusicals. Or a bit before with the original Evita, whose marketing techniques Cammie stole and improved upon. That said, though, all long-running musicals tend to inspire loyalty amongst their devotees... I'm sure even the original My Fair Lady with Julie Andrews and Rex Harrisson did so as well, but it was JCS and Evita and Cats that were the first really, really, really long-runners.

I do agree though that nowadays it's far more trendy than it ever used to be to be into theatre, in particular musicals. I put a lot of that down to the effect of ALW's reality TV shows (and Simon Cowell's) and things like Glee, not that I really like either of them.

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Re: What role does theatre play in your life?

Post  ML6 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:41 pm

I think JCS was the first musical when teens actually helped gain publicity for it. My dad told me that when he was growing up, almost every single one of his friends owned the concept cast album of JCS. It was 'the new thing', and it was damn good.

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Re: What role does theatre play in your life?

Post  ladygodiva on Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:54 pm

I think that the theatre allways allows one to go into a theatre and escape completely into the story. The first live musical that I saw was Peter and the Wolf, when I was very very young, I remember my whole class got to go to see it, the young man fell and broke his leg on the stage, I was rather worried,.

The first Ballet that I saw was the Firebird, loved the red Firebird costume.

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