In recent years British theatre has been exploring form as much as content. It has taken on board the idea that it is not just what you have to say, but the way that you tell it that matters. Even where you tell it makes a difference. So does who you tell it to and who is doing the telling. As a result theatre has become more plastic, more willing to engage with new languages (dance and multimedia for example), more visually confident and more accessible. It's a welcome development, and I accept it also means that scripts may be skeletons that are there to be fleshed out.
But there are times when it makes me wonder if it also means that theatremakers and producing houses are sometimes getting away with a fast one simply on the basis of novelty. I've lost count of the number of times I've now stood in a disused warehouse or city centre apartment or stood with my eye glued to a peephole and had the niggling suspicion that I've been conned; or sat in a theatre and been overwhelmed visually but underwhelmed intellectually and emotionally.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Theatre's Razzle Dazzle
Lyn Gardner is starting to distrust dazzling design: