We really don't care about theatre do we?

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however, theatre only really works in venues seating less than a few hundred people.

DV (dirtyvicar), Friday, 25 April 2003 11:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
I haven't been to the theatre in ages mainly because the sort of theatre i like no longer comes to Glasgow. Ten years or so ago Mainly because of the Tramway) it was possible to come to Glasgow to see The Wooster group perfmoring almost their entire ouvre (the only place in Europe you could see it) of which i have seen Brace Up!, LSD (just the highlights) and House/Lights. Their new one "Poor Theatre" is just about to kick of in New York - i'd love to see it and am extremely jealous of you new yorkers.

In addition Lepage/ Ex Machina were frequent visitors to Glasgow and i think i have seen most oof his plays here. Theatre de Complicite don't come here anymore either. I miss stuff like this.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 24 October 2004 17:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

what about DANCE?

RJG (RJG), Sunday, 24 October 2004 17:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

I meant to go to the tramway, this weekend, but forgot.

RJG (RJG), Sunday, 24 October 2004 17:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

are you dancing tonight?

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:01 (9 years ago) Permalink

I would like to but I have stupid things, to be up for.

RJG (RJG), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

Dan sums up my own feelings well upthread. Theatre is irrelvant and invariably dull. Upper class and upper middle class goons go to it to feel special and sophisticated. I've met these people and they are assholess so why should I want to be in their company anyway?

Mad.Mike, Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

well you're just in a theatre so you're not really in their company. The theatre i love most is not likt that at all in any case.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:40 (9 years ago) Permalink

The 'theater' is so far from being dead that it has become the dominant art form.

Of course, this is only true if you disregard the technical differences between onstage performance, film and television. As far as I am concerned the differences really are minor technicalities.

In all three media you have scripted dialogue telling a story with actors, costumes, scenery, lighting, incidental music, and so on.

The fact that a camera lens imposes a control over the audience's point-of-view that cannot be utilized in stage performances does not make much difference in my view. Stage direction tries to filter the audience's attention, too, except it uses lighting effects, blocking of actor's movements, and other technical means that are somewhat less effective than a camera. The goal is quite similar.

Theater people are just blinded by their nostalgic love of certain techniques that must be modified or discarded in a filmed setting as opposed to a stage setting. They identify these technicalities with 'theater', abhor the new technicalities of movies and tv, and overlook the overwhelming similarities between all the various forms of the modern theater.

Aimless (Aimless), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:49 (9 years ago) Permalink

i completely disagree, movies and theatre are MILES apart (pictures telling stories vs. actors telling stories), or at least they are when they're good

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

tv and theatre, however, are definitely a bit closer.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

The fact that a camera lens imposes a control over the audience's point-of-view that cannot be utilized in stage performances does not make much difference in my view. Stage direction tries to filter the audience's attention, too, except it uses lighting effects, blocking of actor's movements, and other technical means that are somewhat less effective than a camera. The goal is quite similar.

you're making like montage is just another nifty gadget in the film director's toolbox; really it is ESSENTIAL to film, much more so than lighting and blocking is to theatre

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

i don't theater and film need be, um, dichotomized so aggressively. they can fruitfully feed off each other. by its very nature film and theater pose different artistic challenges. many qualities grouped under the epithet "theatrical" don't really seem very essentially theatrical to me--just a legacy of the conventional wisdom that film only became film after it tossed off its debt to the theater (and "griffith invented cinema" etc.).

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

well maybe i'm being reactionary. but i do think tv and theatre have a lot more in common than movies & theatre.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

bla bla proscenium arch bla bla.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 18:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

as an art form practiced in the real world, though, theater really has become marginalized.... any by film, i think, more than anything else. (film basically economically/otherwise supplanted entire theatrical traditions in a period of 10-20 years.) there's an argument that film is more appropriate for certain modes of drama--melodrama for instance. because its indexical quality makes it a better vehicle for spectacle and "illusion"--i think this is by and large true.

xpost

the spatial quality of film and theater are to a large extent opposed.... the camera's "field of vision" is like an upside-down triangle, whereas a conventional stage is a bit the opposite (why it's rare for a theater director to stage a signification action in the back of the stage--harder to ensure that the audience's attention is directed to it). so they pose very different staging problems. i don't quite buy aimless's argument that this means they are different only in the method by which an audience's attention is directed. i think there is a place for ontological speculation....

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:03 (9 years ago) Permalink

um, i mean, ROFFLE etc.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:04 (9 years ago) Permalink

i think with staging it's a completely completely different ballgame, unless we're talking rotating stages or something here

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

anyway i think it's obvious that there are possibilities to filmic narration that simply aren't available in the theater--and this has implications for what films can do, how they can engage an audience. what isn't often brought up is what possibilities are inherent in theater and unavailable in film, aside from the "immediacy" thing--and i have to admit i haven't considered that and other possible advantages of theater too much, simply because theater has never had much place in my life. i have really enjoyed some plays, though, of course.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

I LOVE CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

phil-two (phil-two), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

as well theatre is like 90% WHAT THE PEOPLE DO, whereas with film this is not neccessarily so

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

xpost

slocki, it seems to me a hell of a lot of great films were made in the 1930s, and many of them were only a few baby steps away from being filmed stage productions with over-the-shoulder reaction shots and the occassional montage (thank you Sergei) to spice them up.

If montage is as ESSENTIAL as you say it is, then these films would have failed at birth, rather than becoming successful films - which, not coincidentally are still watched, enjoyed and studied today. Montage is just another nifty tool in a director's toolbox. It just happens to be such a useful tool that it gets used a lot.

Aimless (Aimless), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

i think there is a nebulous actor-audience interaction in theatre that is cool and unique (xp)

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

ok aimless i agree that there quite often CAN be a significant overlap, but that it is not a neccessary one

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

and aimless even these "great 30s films" had cuts, closeups etc, they weren't just one-shot setups

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:09 (9 years ago) Permalink

I used to act - for years - I really enjoyed acting on stage. But the people were such pretentious, posho tossers that I'd personally say that if all theatre grants were destroyed and the whole industry put in the rubbish bin it would not be a great loss to humanity.

Mad.Mike, Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

a few baby steps away from being filmed stage productions with over-the-shoulder reaction shots and the occassional montage (thank you Sergei) to spice them up.

30s films are usually edited pretty briskly, so it's not simply a matter of using up a reel of film shooting an integral theatrical performance. "montage" doesn't mean soviet montage necessarily--just, y'know, editing bits of film together. all hollywood films are edited together from master shots, medium shots (plan american etc.), and occasionally inserts/close ups at a rate of i dunno one shot every 10-12 seconds. (nowadays it's more like every 5 seconds but we're talking about the 1930s)

i think this is pretty important: "filmed theater" isn't really as simple as that, the fact of it being filmed and edited together in the conventional way transforms the way the story is being told. perhaps the "meaning" is ultimately the same, but i'm not sure that's true or if it even matters so much.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

that was a big ol' xpost

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

amateurist you haven't addressed mad mike's point.

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

even super-long take films aren't often really "filmed theater": gertrud, flowers of shanghai, etc. are pretty fucking cinematic (some would argue with that, i guess).

to get "filmed theater" you need to go back to 1895-1910 or so, like the original version of the "wizard of oz" which is basically "selected scenes from the stage play of 'the wizard of oz'"--but as i noted above the spatial aspect of film is such that a stage performance is NECESSARILY transformed if it is to be "faithfully" captured on film. those early films that don't bother with such a transformation are often incomprehensible and usually dismissed as "primtive" (that's another hill of beans or whatever).

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

yeah i didn't say long-take, i said one-setup

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:16 (9 years ago) Permalink

[shrugs] I also happen to think that people who have studied the very specific crafts and techniques of an art form are the absolutely worst people in the world to ask to distinguish between technical differences and fundamental differences among art forms. It would be like asking a lithographer whether lithography has much in common with engraving or intaglio. To a naive onlooker, they are all 'pictures', using composition, line and form.

Aimless (Aimless), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

= "i give up"

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:18 (9 years ago) Permalink

sorry we're not naive enough for you

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

amateurist & i are discussing this in good faith, aimless, it's kind of annoying to have what we're saying totally dismissed for some dumbass reason just because we don't agree with you

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:20 (9 years ago) Permalink

oh, i know.

some "fixed setup" films do sort of selfconsciously evoke a "theatrical" quality, or even overtly beg comparison to theater: oliveira, etc.--or to "primitive" cinema (angelopoulos). and certain kinds of framing (even outside the context of a long-take style) can evoke theater, "performance" too with fruitful results. but lots of fixed-setup films really don't evoke theater at all. it's impossible to imagine hou or jia films as anything but cinema--the natural settings, natural lighting, etc. are absolutely critical.

anyway yeah so i think cinema can do a lot with "theatricality" and i don't think calling a film "theatrical" is a very convincing slur (unless you're writing in 1905, maybe).

i'm repeating myself and possibly not making sense.\

XPOST

s1ocki, i didn't find aimless's post dismissive. anyways i'm not a film student or anything. i'm not sure about agree/disagree--i don't think i dismissed aimless's post or embraced it fully. i just sort of responded to it.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

my "oh, i know" was a response to yeah i didn't say long-take, i said one-setup

!!

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

haha i just gathered that phil-two is talking about the ALW musical! my grandma loved "memories"

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

sorry that kind of steamed me for some reason

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

i have an image of s1ocki as a caffe latte

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

now it's gone

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

s1ocki are you on aim? (i'm on aim for the first time in like 7 months...)

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

yes!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 24 October 2004 19:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Did anyone see John Patrick Shanley's Doubt? I did, last night, since the stars (Cherry Jones and Brian F. O'Byrne) are leaving Sunday. Better than I expected, given my last two experiences with Pulitzer-winning drama (The Young Man from Atlanta and, yikes, Topdog/Underdog) weren't at all satisfying. Perhaps a tad 'clever' in its "You think you know what happened? Oh no you don't" structure, but the dialogue and acting were sharp. Having had a Catholic education may help.

Seen anything else? New Yorkers, Albee's Seascape?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

Or just that it's intriniscally hard to talk about on a global forum like this, performances being site and time specific?

that's probably it, coupled with the world's general philistinism. I wuv the theatre and wish i went to it more often. The last thing I saw was a monster production of Titus Andronicus before Christmas.

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

I like the idea of monsters acting in plays.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

RARRRR! OH NO, I HATE MY CO-STAR AGAIN!

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

Theatre is brilliant, and there's really no reason not go more, esp. for those in London, and even here in provincial Oxford, which is awash with half-decent student productions as well as some great Sheakespeare. But last year I only caught a very good As You Like It and a seven-thumbs Waiting for Godo, which is poor. The last time I went near a theatre was to see Just a Minute when it was last in Oxford (hardly a visual spectacle, works better if you shut your eyes unsurprisingly) and next time I'm going is to see The Mighty Boosh in February.

We need a rolling Theatre S/D thread really, but as you all say, nobody cares.

Johnny B Was Quizzical (Johnney B), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

i agree DV, theatre is probably the most vital art form there is now, the level of creativity and expression is incredible. it's a shame that the thread devolved into people talking about cinema again.

xp i care

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

theatre is probably the most vital art form there is now

Yes, but why? (I'm not being flippant.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 15:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

Saw a great monologue (one-man play) a way back in the 80s called Judgement by George Dillon. Very powerful and haunting, the memory of it has never left me.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 23 October 2013 15:41 (5 months ago) Permalink

that does sound good, hard to find though!

Legitimate space tale (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 29 October 2013 21:46 (5 months ago) Permalink

do ppl like Rattigan? My exposure is limited, but The Winslow Boy is getting p damn good reception on B'way

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 29 October 2013 21:51 (5 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

So...if you're a fledgling theatre group doing Sondheim's Assassins, and charging $20 a ticket, perhaps don't use MIDI FILES as your fucking accompaniment tracks? Also perhaps when you have a four part barbershop harmony in "Gun Song", that at least two of you are on the correct notes?

Feel so ripped off, if a friend of mine hadn't have been in it, I'd have left midway through.

Lesbian has fucking riffs for days (Neanderthal), Saturday, 16 November 2013 06:53 (5 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

What do you all think of Punchdrunk in general? I see Ledge was at The Drowned Man in London, upthread.

I saw this last night and I thought it was amazing, incredible sets, totally immersive, brilliant physical theatre. I saw Sleep No More i New York a few weeks ago and I loved that too.

My friend left early and I suspect she hated it. I just found the entire thing incredibly absorbing, it reminded me of the weirdest elements of acting class, and the same feeling of freedom that you get from that sort of deep dive into theatricality.;

Some of the David Lynch influence went from nod to rip-off, in The Drowned Man, like actually using music written by him felt a bit much, even if it was amazing seeing their incredibly costumed dancers shuffling along to The Pink Room from Fire Walk With Me... always felt this should be some alternative form of techno.

I also feel there's a slight hint of money spinning from what they do, but still love the worlds they create.

Last night I had this really odd one-on-one with one of the actresses where she led me into this room, shone a red light in my eyes and examined my face, then made me sign a form making my image "the property of Temple Studios" (the whole thing is set in a 60s film studio.)

She then put a trenchcoat and scarf on me and walked me into this pitch black corner of the room and left me for a minute or so, then these strobes started flickering and a director's voice came through directing me in this love scene whereby the actress re-entered from the darkness further away and this sort of face-off happened, it was all amazingly scripted, and the "scene" went on for a few minutes, then the lights came back on and she led me out and was like "that was wonderful - the studio will be in touch."

It's just been extended to March, I really recommend going.

Legitimate space tale (LocalGarda), Friday, 13 December 2013 12:34 (4 months ago) Permalink

I really liked it and I was a bit cynical at the outset and would actually really like to go again and have a different experience (I imagine) but it's expensive got my brother and his girlfriend tickets for his birthday and saw him a few days later and all he said was "your cowboy play was weird". I went in july (cheaper preview) and have occasionally thought since then "that's still going on night after night that's pretty cool" and now they've extended it!

conrad, Friday, 13 December 2013 13:14 (4 months ago) Permalink

Yeah I am tempted to go again, it was absolutely huge, I was on each floor but I am sure I missed bits. There were some incredibly creepy nooks and crannies around the place.

Legitimate space tale (LocalGarda), Friday, 13 December 2013 13:15 (4 months ago) Permalink

Their NY show has been going for two years.

Legitimate space tale (LocalGarda), Friday, 13 December 2013 13:16 (4 months ago) Permalink

I'd love to see this. Is there much of a narrative running through it LG?

sktsh, Saturday, 14 December 2013 14:11 (4 months ago) Permalink

^ pofaced way of saying tell us more about this love scene, tbh

sktsh, Saturday, 14 December 2013 14:11 (4 months ago) Permalink

It's all based on Woyzeck and Day Of The Locust, there is a narrative but it's quite abstract and the experience will be different wherever you decide to go, or whomever you follow. Personally after seeing the NY show, which was Macbeth meets Hitchcock, I didn't feel the need to follow all the main characters or to see the main scenes. Though it probably would be enjoyable to do that. It can be a collection of lots of little experiences.

It's mostly silent scenes expressed by physical theatrics or dance, though there is some speech. It's all quite muscular and wringy.

The love scene thing was like a one to one, which can happen you at Punchdrunk shows, but not always, is kind of luck of the draw, there are tons of different ones in each show they do, I think. (In NYC I waltzed with a witch.)

I basically walked after a sort of PA character after she'd done one of the main characters make-up and after she put me in the dark the director's voice came on and was talking about darkness and the city, and as the strobes came on it was like "in the shimmering lights a figure approaches you" and the actress kind of walked into this tiny enclosure of red curtains I was in.

There was a sort of confetti effect to the strobes and the director's voice was all this stuff about like "you never thought you'd see her again, yet here you are, you touch her face, you take her hand, you know this moment is fleeting, but it is the greatest moment of your life" and she was about to kiss me and then he's like CUT and it all ended.

It was sort of cheesy and dark in a Lynchian kind of way, but also really intense, the actress was v striking, again it reminded me of some of the more full-on things I've done in acting class, like total immersion in another person.

Obv lots of titillation involved, but that's kind of what Punchdrunk do, the shows are brimming with sex and sexual jealousy.

Legitimate space tale (LocalGarda), Sunday, 15 December 2013 09:47 (4 months ago) Permalink

It's funny, the completist in me gets a bit paralysed by choice at the thought of open-ended participatory stuff in case I end up somehow missing what's 'important'. Obv I know that's not the point at all and is a stupid way to think, but it's a feeling I can never shake. Innocuous things that make you irrationally unconfident etc.

(Sounds great though!)

sktsh, Sunday, 15 December 2013 16:11 (4 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Speaking of caring about theatre, the four-hour Einstein on the Beach is streaming online this month, somewhere out there.

Meanwhile:
http://observer.com/2014/01/an-a-ffair-to-remember-toni-bentley-brings-her-anal-sex-memoir-to-the-stage/

tbd (Eazy), Wednesday, 15 January 2014 04:40 (3 months ago) Permalink

I'm going to see Frank Langella in King Lear this Saturday. Don't think that one has anal sex in it, iirc.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 15 January 2014 04:44 (3 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Excited to see this Peter Brook doc at some point:

http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/the-tightrope

That's So (Eazy), Monday, 10 February 2014 04:30 (2 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Medea at the Riverside (run has just ended) was v good, in parts. Medea itself was played as a vampiric sort which didn't scan with the later, powerful scenes where the logic for her actions is more fully laid out with an emotional core to them. The messenger's speech and re-telling of death was poetically and psychologically convincing and my favourite bit of acting. The score was excellent as well.

I should re-watch the Pasolini film, the play made it seem worse in my faint recollection of it.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 23 March 2014 12:13 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/theater/in-broadway-seats-few-guys-among-the-dolls.html?hpw&rref=arts&_r=0

why does dudes never want to watch rocky musicallllls

j., Sunday, 30 March 2014 14:48 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

everyone really owes it to themselves to see an episode of john jesurun's "chang in a void moon." these don't happen very often anymore...

http://www.incubatorarts.org/chang.html

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 30 March 2014 16:00 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Wanted to see this during its brief run last year... I guess it took a Pulitzer to get it reopened.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/pulitzer-winning-play-the-flick-to-reopen-in-new-york

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Monday, 14 April 2014 23:56 (3 days ago) Permalink


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