Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Review(ish)

Quite a mad weekend. Newtown Theatre didn't go ahead with The God Of Hell due to bugger all people turning up. Major pisser because it's a Sam Shepard play and I was in the mood for some black comedy. Also, the review is due at the mag first thing Monday morning. The column space was allocated so I wrote a ranty review(ish) below.

After the show not going on, The Dreaded One and I went out for a quiet dinner. A good friend was smashed in New Zealand and was totally text-pestering me to go meet her new man who is in Sydney for a few days. His name is Pino. He is Italian of Somali descent. After relenting and meeting him, I now think of him as Pino Noir. Not very PC, but that's all right, innit.

Had nice pleased-to-meet-you drinks and decided after much indecision to go home and go to bed and go to sleep and not go to the Infected Mushroom gig. I made it all the way home before caving in to that feeling that I was missing out. Changed clothes and went to the Infected Mushroom gig.

It was a good decision. Fumbled at the door and the bouncer asked for ID, and I didn't have ID because the really funky clothes I had changed into don't accommodate a wallet and I just didn't think about the ID thing. The Dreaded One had sensibly gone to bed which is a bummer because she would have reminded me about the ID thing.

Anyway, I started heading home AGAIN thinking this was silly after all and whoooeee I'm a little bit dwink. But then I turned around and decided to loiter because sooner or later someone would rescue me and somehow I would be inside pretty soon.

Katie Pooh-Foot (Most Gorgeous Woman In The Forest) came and rescued me. Big hug. Took me by the hand and lead me past those evil bouncers and I was inside and apparently not on the guest list but the door bitc... door girl recognised me and waved me into the capacity-filled venue and I am very lucky. Many lovely friends inside.

It was mental and very funny.

The end.

Here's the review(ish).


This column space was meant to be a review. And a review it is... of sorts.

On Friday night I arrived at the theatre to be told that in spite of the age-old adage about shows going on, the show might not, in fact, be going on. Erm... ‘scuse me?

“It’s just that there aren’t very many people here and it might not be worth our while to put the play on. We’ll know in the next 20 minutes or so, so if you’d like to have a drink and take a seat, we’ll let you know.”

I wasn’t sure how to react to this. So I bought a couple of glasses of wine, sat down in the – no getting around it – quite empty theatre foyer and tried to suss out just how I did feel about it. I felt for the theatre because theatre types are usually dedicated to the cause and I just want all the good ones to succeed. However I also felt niggly bit of pissiness because I truly believed that theatre types really believed that the show must go on. I thought they were troupers. I thought they pulled themselves up by their boot straps (whatever that means). Stiff upper lip. On with the show. (Just don’t mention the Scottish play). Etc.

I’ve sat in pathetically small opening night audiences to see real actors giving their heart to the performance as though it was a full house they were playing to. Lack of bums on seats be damned, they obviously thought, I am going to own this audience tonight, they will remember this; I am going to treat them like a real and full audience.

Those performances have been remembered and have been raved about.

Imagine taking a seat at a restaurant and being told, “Look – we’re not sure we’ll be able to feed you tonight. Have a drink and if a few more people show, no worries, we’ll stay open. Letchya know in twenty.”

Set design? Done. Rehearsals? Done. Make-up and wardrobe? Done. All performers present and accounted for. Isn’t a small audience better than no audience?

So much for art for art’s sake. I guess there was something nice on telly everyone wanted to get home to watch.



Geoffrey said...

I wonder if you know how right you are?

A play of mine went on for an audience of one in London in 1991. He was on his way home and had stopped by the theatre to see the play he thought sounded much to his liking. His suitcase sat next to him.

A week later, he faxed a booking request for 15 people from New York and they duly arrived with a beautiful big bunch of red roses.

You must never let Ego and Vanity dictate the terms. Ever.

Margarita Milongita said...

Pino Noir.. fantastic.
And those wanker buggers should have gone on- crowd or no crowd.
Bunch of big girls blouses.

Quick said...

Great that you went ahead with your show. I know it must be soul destroying to perform to a small audience, but when I've seen performers really give it everything in spite of low numbers, I've just been blown away by it, by their dedication to the theatre experience.

Playing to an audience of one is pretty admirable.

Incidentally, the editor loved it and is going to run the piece. At this stage I don't know if she's going to insert the title of the play as the heading and run the tagline with season details as though it's a normal review. That would be kind of funny. Will know when the mag hits the streets tomorrow.

Hello Margarita. I just got home from work and you must be online as I type this. I can here the gala on telly and about to go watch some of it.

Quick said...

Oh. The comedy gala just finished. Pooh.

Quick said...

And fuck I must be tired. Didn't catch that awful typo. I'll bet there are more if I bothered to look.

Margarita Milongita said...

Go to bed spotty...
And come to Melbourne asap..
A spare bedroom and a wild city awaits you....

Oh yeah and comment on my last 2 blogs if you can be arsed..