Friday, 18 July 2014

Wiping my Tears on The Stage Curtain

When I am not titting about, pretending to be an artist or making my new X-Men figures act out sordid fantasies, I like to take time to weep over the fate of theatre-makers. Not the ones that fall foul of the critics' lashes - that's unhappy but I would be a hypocrite to cry- but the ones that get lost in the Fringe. Like this show...

Just to be clear, I would love to be proved wrong, but I can't see Curtain Up becoming the buzz show of the Fringe. This is no slur on the quality - it looks as if there is some smart but simple dramaturgy there, and an imaginative approach to the old-school storytelling style of 'one woman on stage, with a tale about a tale' here. And I like the combination of a naive narrative complicated by including the narrator in the action.

It's the length of run and the timing. It is too short to build up attention, and it is in the first week when most publications are still running after the big guns at the Traverse, or working out which Guy Masterson play is his winner this year. The smaller venues get more hits in later weeks, in general and so... Curtain Up will come, get some audience and leave, barely noticed. 

This means all sorts of stuff - that theatre is like a business, in which those with success or money get more success or money, and the small companies and venues have to plug away, hoping against hope. It means that a really radical experiment is going to get lost in the endless lists of plays adapted from Shakespeare. 

But I have an instinct about this one... it might well be as moving, in a subtle way, as it claims.  Not sure. Leave me to weep.

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