Wednesday, 18 February 2015

More Tougher Questions

Hi again, Dani...

Just thinking about your reply on the 'genuine
critic.' I'd prefer to use the phrase 'recognised critic': genuine suggests a level of 'realness' that I don't possess (look at how I write in persona, reveal my confusion and shift perspective). But what you say here...

By 'genuine critic' I suppose I mean one who is employed by a publication or establishment to critique productions: someone with a theatrical, literary or musical background whose opinions may be seen as more 'worthy' because of this training and experience....

... articulates a public attitude towards people, like me or Matt Trueman or Mark Brown, who have a particular status or platform.

Putting aside my comedy egotism, I reject any suggestion that our opinions are intrinsically 'more worthy'. They may be given greater weight, but that is about the relationship between critic and public. There is a particular approach that the recognised critics might share, but there are times when they miss something that a random tweet might capture. I'm interested in the cohort of critics, and the way they provide a conversation about theatre - but individually, I don't think we are 'worthy'.

I enjoy the statement "...while they hold the same quantitative weight... they have a qualitative difference." 

Me too... the 'recognised critic' provides a different sort of critique, and one that is perhaps more detailed. This doesn't make them 'more important' than anyone else.

You also made some great points about immersive theatre.

I don't like the idea of immersive theatre, and I too think that it is more for the theatre company than the audience: I enjoy
that you disrupted the expected behavioural patterns - it's true, and I hadn't considered, that even with this supposed responsibility of the audience comes specific actions and reactions that are considered acceptable - did this kind of theatre arise with Theatre Of The Oppressed? If so, it's an interesting conundrum that within a form aimed liberating those who are oppressed comes a form of repression. (If you don't act the way you're supposed to, you're ignored or put down!)

Although it might allude to the 'Theatre of the Oppressed', immersive theatre is far more controlling than even the most conservative of main-stage productions. Goed's Audience makes the connection between immersive theatre, fascism and demagoguery explicit. 

By using video footage of the audience to fake their approval of dubious speeches, then presenting a montage of mass movements, a suspicion of apparently popular movements ascends to an attack on the manipulation used by the media. Even better, it is an emotional journey, a nasty one, where the text reads the audience as much as the audience reads the text...

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