So that is another year of theatre going come to an end. I am not going to do one of those my ten best lists – there is no reason why anyone should agree and it would not necessarily include the handful to which I gave five stars. Awarding stars is an advertising ploy and nothing else. Theatre publicisists love them as it is an easy way of claiming some production is marvellous and saves them posting extracts from a reviews or reviews as they used to do on posters at theatres and saves people who go from reading the reviews – one should always seek a second opinion. Mine could be wrong and everyone else right – or the other way round. It is simply a matter of opinion. And some of those star awarders are bloggers who know their access to tickets depends on giving flattering reviews. Nobody will admit it, of course. But years back a national newspaper critic confided when we were discussing stars that they were under instructions to get their rev iew, the title of their newspaper, up there on the theatre hoarding.
The important thing is to go as often as you can because theatres everywhere need you. Prices in London’s West End can be astronomic and if the latest musical is all you want to see then you will just have to pay up – but do seek for the special offers because they do exists. And do see what is on in the fringe as there are some great fringe theatres staging first rate plays and musicals – about most you should have found something here. It is also an awful lot cheaper and there are websites tell you what is on. There is also that theatre near you. It needs you even more. Netflix may be all very well and allows you to stay in at night but it is no answer no matter how star studded the films to being in an audience watching a live show, sharing that strange relationship with the players. And sometimes, although not always, hearing the swish of the curtain at the beginning.
You don’t have to spend on merchandise, let alone on a souvenir programme – the details in it will be there on line. So too will the production photographs – you will find the cast list here for a start. So resolve that in 2023 you will to a live show – theatre is not like a film or dvd something you can replay at will. What you see is a once off, every night will be ever so slightly different. The difference will depend on the cast – and on you.
Have a good New Year going to the theatre.