As Jocular Theatre Company stages another comedy this weekend,
I question the artistic prestige of a profession that, in reality, draws a comparison with marketing.
Don’t get me wrong. I think theatre is vitally important, or I wouldn’t have spent a month chasing Calixto Bieito telephonically around Belgium. Where newspapers chuck easy information at us, playwrights attempt to whittle things down to the very essence of humanity …
But, actors … why do we give a toss? Why do we want to hang out with them? Why do we want to sleep with them? Are they not, at best, overgrown spelling-spods that parrot then take credit for the ideas of others? ‘Hollow men’ (TS Eliot) desperate to adopt alien personalities, or so eager to share a caricature of their own selves, that they drain the very souls from the texts they are reading. Isn’t it time that we – and they – recognise that they are, like marketeers, under the self-delusion that their profession is an end in itself, when it is no more than a rickety go-car for real creativity.
Theatre-goers: Important issues to consider and share while at the play this and next weekend.
Actors: Prove you have skills. Post up an authentically chilling audio version of:
“Cover her face. Mine eyes dazzle. She died young.”
(The Duchess of Malfi, 1623, 4.2.263)
Or drop me a line and I’ll send you my phone number.
Click this for brilliant Ian McKellen and Ricky Gervais from Extras on YouTube.