IT’S time for us reviewers and theatre-lovers to take a deep breath and prepare to hunker
IT’S time for us reviewers and theatre-lovers to take a deep breath and prepare to hunker down: the Christmas Show season is nearly upon us and it lasts forever.
There will be pantomimes coming out of every orifice, be they professional, amateur or village one-night affairs.
There will be feelgood musicals about children or animals or somesuch at the major theatres.
We will be beset with posters shouting how great these shows are — and sometimes they actually are, but that’s often accidental.
But for those of us who love a good despairing two hours of misery from Ibsen, or Rattigan, Arthur Miller or Tennessee Williams, it will be torture.
From the end of November until the middle of January we will be forced to acquire a sense of humour while quietly praying for it all to end so that we can have our theatres back. The trouble is the public doesn’t see it that way. They go to these Christmas shows in their thousands, even though they never go to the theatre at any other time — rather like church with births, marriages and deaths.
They queue up at the Kenton for the now well-established panto and come out smiling.
They’ll be doing the same at every other venue as
Island, No matter that the people love it, that it fills the auditoria with joy, fun, laughter and a sense of well-being.
No matter that it brings people into our beloved theatres who might not have ventured otherwise, but may venture again.
And no matter that the enormous amounts of money taken at the box office at this time go a long way towards paying for the so-called serious plays we theatre-lovers adore so much...