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freedom, pt 1

this is a thought in progress.

can theatre be used as a measure of freedom? this is something that has been playing in my head for a few days now. recently, in this community, a director for the free theatre in belarus made a comment to my last post regarding audience responses to shows. and indeed, how shows are selected. the audience is stagnant in both locations. the audience applauds because it thinks it has to (UK) or must (there).

in theory, we have the freedom to boo, hiss and cat-call when a show is rubbish. but i have never seen it.

a short time ago the 'jerry springer opera' was making its rounds of the UK. i, unfortunately, did not have an opportunity to see it but i am usually okay with any theatre that causes people to talk about it by raising a bit of contreversy. and there was. a lot. a great deal of pressure was placed upon the theatres who where hosting the touring theatre company that the show was actually cancelled in a few locations. threats were issues by the 'christians.' serious threats.

can theatre be a measure of freedom?

my understanding is that in bela rus the state dictates who directs the shows, which shows, where, for how long. there is an underground theatre communtiy whose members run the risk of being arrested and detained for daring to put on something challenging. and i am willing to bet that the afore mentioned christian wing-nuts who made such a fuss over the JS Opera would look down their noses at the situation in belarus. 'those poor people aren't free.

christians and communist dictators creating the same state of fear which stifles creative thought.

as a strange irony, fidel castro once said, and i paraphrase, that because one can choose from several different brands of cola does not mean one is free. my thought - capitalism and democracy should never be confused one for the other. china has a very healthy capitalistic economy.

is fidel correct? possibly. the fact that i can opt between pepsi and coke does not mean i am free. but perhaps the fact that i can opt to choose neither does... maybe. but i am still unsure.

what the would be theocrates in the UK failed to understand is that their freedom ends where mine begins. i like jesus jokes, they make me laugh. and if someone does not like them they should probably not tell them or go to a place where those joke will be told.

i will, of course, defend the religious rights freedom to peaceably protest the JS opera but i will not defend threats and harrasment in the name of an imaginary friend.

to be continued....


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
27th Oct, 2010 13:36 (UTC)
it's been three years since this post! do you still write about the theatre? you should! :)
i think you make a good point re. UK audiences clapping because they think they have to, but i don't think booing/shouting rude things at the performers is necessary or of any 'help', for the following reasons:
1. unless the style of acting is one in which the actors recognise the audience and speak to them (ie. there's no fourth wall) then as far as the audience is concerned the actors wouldn't respond to their booing (etc.) anyway because they can't "hear" them.
2. when people go to the theatre, see a film, stand-up, ANYTHING, they take a risk: that risk is that they will like it. if they don't like it, that's their own problem; the person in the seat next to them might've loved it. one person's rubbish is another person's treasure, and all that. i did some work experience at a big-name theatre a few months ago & was actually shocked at the amount of people that left the show (at the very end of it, might i add, once they'd watched it all) demanding their money back because they hated it so much. one man kicked up such a fuss he said he would go to the local radio station about it. about what, exactly? i would never dream of doing such a thing if i didn't enjoy a play. like i said, you take a risk when you go to see any kind of show, and if you don't like it then don't see anything by that company again. lesson learned.

basically, there's no reason to be rude! like you, i'm all for freedom of speech but unfortunately a lot of people are just plain stupid.

if you're still around & active send me a comment back! :) i stumbled upon this while i was looking for theatre-related blogs.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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