Wednesday 11 August 2010


My previous posts on the summer rep in Swansea have been lukewarm or worse which might beg the question "why bother?". The truth is that I am a tart for live theatre and will put up with stuff that you would switch off on the telly. That's not out of loyalty but because live theatre is so exhilarating - even therapeutic - because you engage with and are part of the performance and bond with the performers and the rest of the audience. Most people don't go but they have forgotten or never experienced how different it is to the (literally) two-dimensional, detached viewing of film or TV.

Unsubsidised, populist theatre has to fight hard to find an audience between on the one hand the great mass of people who think theatre is not for them or even elitist and on the other hand the cultural snobs who look down on it and pretend to enjoy Ibsen. But for those in the know theatre, low, middle, or high brow, is a great tonic providing numerous highs like mini-holidays punctuating the dull passage of the year.

Last night's farce was dated and predictable, relying on the usual physical tomfoolery, flashes of ladies' underwear, improbable confusions of identity, and most of all that camp theatrical convention (so unlike real life) that the male characters are appalled at the prospect of sexual contact with very attractive female characters. Brilliant.