Tuesday, September 17, 2013

All the world's a stage...(and we are just poor teachers?)

21st September 2014:

As I was reading my Twitter stream, I was  reflecting on my next act, which will speak of music, space and silence.  Then, a number of tweets and posts decided me to produce a revival of the following play: All the world's a stage...(and we are just poor teachers?)

So in no particular order here are some of these linked elements which inspired this revival:

RT : The “learner’s why” vs the “teacher’s why” Sometimes the operative words is versus, yes?

Disrupting the Playground - Hilarity ensues as disruption is disrupted.

All the world's a stage...(and we are just poor teachers?) A revival. 
Originally performed in September 2013.
And we are just poor teachers, who strut and fret our time, stage front, tutting and grumbling about dwindling levels of interest amongst a distracted audience...and then blogging about it (with apologies to William).

Oh the distraction!

Before it was just the turnip throwers in the gods,a rowdy rabble if ever there was. We got rid of them by employing muscular stewards and a brilliant policy of over-priced seats. William came up with a master-stroke: "Why didn't we organise a cheap knees-up for the mob and keep them far away from our classical theatre?" Masterful William!  Alas! Now it's spread to the monied classes in the posh seats. My monologue was interrupted last night by the dim lights emitted from their damned smartphones. Have they no respect for the thespian art?

The critics are out. The notices are rather mixed.

We organised a meeting of the company. What might we do to stop declining ticket sales? Helmut suggested we might get a microphone.  I thought that we should just change the play. Bob came up with a new fangled (and awfully expensive) pyrotechnic effect to thrill the stalls.  Walpole, as usual, was more than helpful. "Why didn't we try stilts?", he suggested (idiot!).

After a few beers, Harry started getting carried away. "Couldn't we introduce a flying carpet to give them a music-hall eyeball?" Frankly we were heading towards pantomime. Besides, such extravaganza would demand skilled technicians in the wings, an almighty budget, sponsors even! Walpole was charming, but seemed to only be able to drink tea in the green room.

Theatre in the Round

 In the face of declining audience behaviour, we ended up doing some research. Someone came up with "Theatre in the Round". We discussed this question at length. Should we use the same theatre building? Was it a question of taking out a few seats, moving the stage to the centre? With diminishing budgets and audiences, this was viewed as a feasible option. Rather than knocking down the protected classical edifice, we asked a local architect to modify it somewhat.

First reviews for our new season were much improved. We did have to modify our dramatic art rather to adapt, but it was better than leaving the theatre altogether and ending up recording jingles for soap powder. We gradually worked towards a concept of immersive theatre, with massive audience participation. That was excellent!

Street Theatre

We even ventured out into the streets. It was romantic, getting back to the roots, a life of the wandering player. The other day we bumped into the rabble from the gods. They were dancing and drinking in the park. There were masses of them. What on earth were they doing there just behind the band-stand? I later learnt that it was what is called these days "A Flash mob." They had all arrived there, apparently separately,  like an army of goddam ants via some Facebook page or some sort. For once, I was stumped for words. They, I thought to myself, would make a wonderful audience in the theatre.

The Seventh Art

I am no Eisenstein, but I admit to daydreaming between acts in the green-room. Might they not be persuaded to be extras in a little movie project of mine? Then the penny dropped. They were actually making a movie (of sorts). I had a dreadful Pauline moment, on my way to the theatre, I realised that I had, in this haphazard, unplotted cinema, become rather the extra. I sat in the wings, deep in reflection...