On Crap Theatre

I’m lamenting the fact that I am broke, and ill. I now realise why not many teenagers list ‘theatre-going’ as a hobby. For a start, it means that I spend too much of my time reading The Stage, too much money watching dubious productions, and often feel thoroughly dejected that I can’t travel up to London more often to theatre-hop between the Almeida/National/Royal Court.

The first ‘proper’ theatre production I saw – bar the traditional pantomime, with the traditional bearded-man-as-comical-lady character – was an undeniable crap local version of Macbeth. Jesus Christ, was it awful. They tried. Admittedly, it must have been hard to configure, what with it being an outdoor production, but the company could have at least attempted to make it marginally less painful. It was an attempt at making Shakespeare contemporary, but with 17th Century costume, 17th Century language and truly medieval acting. It was as if the company wanted to make it appeal to a younger audience (yes, they played Bastille’s Pompeii during the movement of Birnam Wood), but still wanted to ensure bums on seats, and retain their usual white, upper-middle class demographic. Hence why it was so crap. If they’d kept it traditionally Shakespearean (and done it well), I would have been fine and dandy. If they’d gone ‘bugger stereotypes of Shakespeare’ and produced something suitably creative and mind-blowing, I would have been fine and dandy with that as well. But a half-hearted PowerPoint presentation attempting to masquerade as ‘innovative’ staging/lighting/God-knows-what just didn’t cut it.

Luckily, that’s been the only production that I’d prefer to shove my hand in a blender than see again. So far, anyway.

BREAKING NEWS: Family are about to get me tickets to see King Lear!!!!! I’ll have to leg it to the train station after my Computer Science exam, and then leg it up to the TRB, but whoo!!


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