Wednesday 13 June 2018


The question I was asking myself about two hours ago--seated near the NE corner of Victoria park--was "What works better for the audience right now? does the audience need right now?" and, "What does the audience need?"
I do not refer here to the audience of taste-makers, critics, peers, world at large. I refer to the people who share the space at the moment of performance. I think the questions are useful ones. A poor answer, one might argue, means a poor show.
A related matter--the matter of the button. In the marching band I grew up in, we called it a shock note. In the jazz big band, we called it a shot. In musical theatre, it's the button--that concluding chord/note/expression that says "it's time to clap--stop the show if you want to." 
If there's anything to the theory, articulated elsewhere in this blog--you might have to dig back to April, 2014, to entries written in the flamenco bars in Andalusia--that the most satisfying performance is one in which the mutual needs of both performer and audience are met, then we need the button. The audience can empty itself of response, ready to load more. The performers, knowing their piece has done its work, are ready to work the next piece. 
Without the button, we're not sure whether to clap or not. The play seems to want to move on. If we clap, we miss dialogue. But that choreo was sensational. We need a chance to acknowledge. 
Of course it's artificial--the notion that after a song or dance we pause for clapping. Except that we need it. Emotionally. 
one in which the mutual needs of performer and audience 

Thursday 7 June 2018


The piece might end this way: Everyone's trudging, contentedly, back to the Oak Floors, having just finished a big number singing its virtues, and plentiful doubts. One by one, the characters veer off, with a wave to those remaining, and to audience. Patty is the last one.
She looks at the door (twice before she'd forgotten her key), at the audience. A pause. And it opens. She disappears inside, good-bye. To black.