Monday, 20 June 2016

Stop. Rewind. Play. Repeat.

"The film's not finished, it's just paused!"

Last week, I heard a child shout these seven words to his friend as they wandered past me during the interval of Mary Poppins at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton...and they broke my heart.

When did technology become so ingrained in our lives that the next generation can't recognise the difference between actors on a stage and people on a cinema screen?

I suppose, in a way, it was a compliment to the show, which was practically perfect in every way; slick and polished, Mary Poppins was the highest class of entertainment. But alongside all the magic I carried away with me, I also carried that little boy's words, stuck in my head long after the final chord.

Since last week, I've had time to muse on it and, not for the first time, have come to the conclusion, that there is one way and one way only to ensure that live theatre is preserved in all its glory.

And that's by supporting it, and by encouraging your friends, your family, your children to support it, too.

You can't pause a live show, you can't rewind the bits you've missed, you can't screenshot it or find it on iPlayer - it's happening, right there in front of you. Characters are coming to life, a story is being told, and every single person doing the telling is doing it as you watch.

Anything could happen...and isn't that a thrill?

No two performances are the same, each audience will see an equally impressive but slightly different show. Each audience member will come away with a different experience, according to what caught their eye.

One may spot Joseph sat on the steps trying to decipher his dreams whilst the Brothers are scheming, another might see the shock of the Chorus as Benjamin is accused of theft, a third might see Joseph and the Narrator dancing together in the background of another number, a fourth could hear an instrumental riff from a different musical creeping into the score...

Hundreds of people watching the same show can see hundreds of tiny details, nuances and moves. Each person will have their own favourite song, favourite character, favourite moment; each of those moments has been delivered by a real person, in real time.

And only those hundreds in the audience will have shared in the experience. It can't be replayed, it can't be replicated. What an exclusive club to join, to be one of only a fraction of the population to have witnessed the magic of a particular show, with a particular cast in a particular place.

Don't underestimate the sticking power of such memories.

For a family of four to see Finding Dory in 3D would cost just 60p less than it would for the same family to see our production of Joseph at Medina Theatre this July (also in 3D, I hasten to add!) with a live band, a live cast of 57 and no DVD option for later!

It's a no-brainer.

We'll see you at the theatre!


Please Note: Medina Theatre's online booking system is currently unavailable. To book your tickets in the meantime, please phone 01983 823884 or visit Medina Theatre Box Office in person - if the box office is unmanned, pop downstairs and buy your tickets from the Medina Leisure Centre reception.

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