Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Are you positive?

Regular readers of the blog may notice a pattern in our reviews. By and large they are positive, and we're happy with what we've seen. Does this mean we're too easily pleased?

The simple answer is 'we pays our money and we makes our choice'. We don't have a features editor giving us a list of shows to see, we don't have complimentary tickets swaying our decisions as to whether to review something or not. Whatever we review we've carefully selected as something that interests us - whether it's because we've seen something by the company before, we know the piece, or the blurb has caught our eye. We then put our money where our mouth is.

Our primary purpose for going to the theatre is simply to have a good time. Everything we see has that at it's heart, and we hope that we won't be disappointed. We don't always know quite what to expect, but we always hope to be entertained.

We don't always agree on what we want to see - I'm working hard on trying to get Statler to go to some more musical theatre for example! However we're unlikely to go to something that we don't think we'll get some enjoyment out of. In addition if one of us much preferred the play to the other, that person is more likely to do the review, with the other saving their comments for their heckle.

Have we ever come out of something wishing we'd stayed at home that night? Certainly! You may notice a lack of productions staged at 2 of Glasgow's largest theatres - The King's and The Theatre Royal. We've learned our lessons there - and something has to be really tempting to drag us back. Our last visits to both theatres were before the time period covered by this blog, but we feel we've got to mention them for balance.

The National Theatres' (NB not the NTS) production of "An Inspector Calls" at The King's was a huge disappointment. A hugely impressive mechanical set just distracted from what is one of my favourite plays. Possibly as a result of the confining nature of the set, the performances lacked any openness.

"Framed" at the Theatre Royal was described as a modern thriller but didn't live up to its promises. If you have to resort to long declamatory, Bond villian style explanations then something's gone wrong somewhere. We decided after this that if a play's main selling point was pushing 'Joe Bloggs from Some Really Dreadful Soap Opera' then it's probably not something we want to see. The Theatre Royal has the added benefit of being one of the most uncomfortable theatres to sit in.

We do try to give our honest opinion on what we've seen, and we hope that this explains how we arrive at our reviews.

2 Heckles

Statler said...

And if you want to see a well reasoned and balanced piece on the potential for free tickets in influencing reviews on some blogs have a read at this one by The Playgoer.

A view from the coast said...

You are spot on about the productions at the Kings and Pavilion. Unlike you we have been to a number of productions at these venues over recent years, the majority of which have been mediocre at best.

The productions we have seen at The Tron, Oran Mor ( mostly) and The Citz have wiped the floor with them.