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This now brings me to another point!
SETS: There truly has to be something wrong, when audiences go to the theatre and all people talk about when they go out at interval or at the end of the show is “weren’t the sets amazing”. I thought theatre was about the songs the dancing the script and most importantly the actors themselves with whatever talent they bring to the stage. Sets, technology, and sound should be there to make all of that look and sound even better, to enhance what is happening on stage NOT take over.
Why is it that live theatre is trying to compete with films? Really, what is the point, let film be film and live theatre be about the people on stage and the music and acting, the songs and dance (if it's not a play).
There really is NOTHING like a live show, the thrill of listening to skilled people drawing you into the story and singing their hearts out or acting a compelling script. I know that times have changed and that people are used to having more amplified sound, everything moves faster, and is all about immediacy, BUT shouldn’t theatre be the one place people can go and not be blasted with artificial sound, get to use their imagination, and be entertained by the actors on stage and not ‘sets’.
Surely we can go to the movies to see all the technology one can handle, theatre just cannot compete on that scale.
A: it costs so much more to put on, and this is passed on to the punters, and also cuts our weekly pay
B: This in turn makes people think twice before outlaying a substantial amount to go to live theatre.
I love the old adage, K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid), it’s one that theatre works best with and lets the audience member concentrate on the show itself and not the distractions of technology, sets and sound.
The Production Co. is a perfect case in point, of course they use mics, this is the standard these days and of course it is here to stay, but EVERYTHING else is minimal and it works beautifully. Take this kind of production up one step more and you have the perfect Live Theatre Show.
Philip Gould (Performers HUB!)
Let me put a question to you that may rock the boat for many people and one that I know eats away at artists who have been a long time in the ‘Live Theatre’ industry: “Just how far should we go with sets, technology and sound?”
HOW FAR SHOULD WE GO?
are sets, sound & technology taking over live theatre?
Let me put a question to you that may rock the boat for many people and one that I know eats away at artists who have been a long time in the ‘Live Theatre’ industry:
“Just how far should we go with sets, technology and sound?”
How big a theatre is ‘too big’ for live theatre? Ok! I know, that’s two questions but it still has the same relevance. We seem to have lost all idea of what theatre is really all about. When we go to the theatre, we go for the LIVE experience, which we are rapidly losing. Obviously we still have live actors moving round the stage, but that is it.
I remember taking my children to a production at the Regent theatre in Melbourne, which is a huge barn of a place and was originally a film theatre and seats over 2 thousand people. This theatre is spread so far back that you have to amplify ALL sound to hear anything off the stage. This production had great theatre sets, beautiful costumes and was not over technical, BUT, I remember sitting way up in the gods (cause they were the only seats we could get) and being totally disappointed with fully amplified sound and seeing some ants on stage. I turned to my wife and said “After paying over $100 a seat, I could have stayed home and listened to the CD which would have been the same thing”. We never heard one live voice, in fact it seemed like they were miming.
The point I am making here is that 'live theatre' should be just that.
Recently I was in London, and obviously went and saw a few shows, nearly ALL of the theatres in London are 1000 seats or less and are built so that no-matter where you sit you still feel close to the action and even if they are mic’d, you can still hear the live voice. Amplification is to enhance the sound not blast people’s ear drums. Even the larger theatres like Drury Lane Theatre Royal and The
London Palladium are built as live theatres and all seats sit closer to the stage.
Voice projection is another art that is fading out too, because of mics. Obviously, there is a beneficial side to mics as we can work on far more subtleties than ever before with this technology, but that doesn’t mean we should totally rely on it for live theatre.