Why I work in the theatre

I am really lucky to work in theatre. So many people do soul destroying jobs in industries that they hate or that no one cares about. But theatre means so much to so many people. People get so passionate about it. It is easy to forget that for many going to see a show is something special, a real treat, something glamorous and special that will stay in their memory for a long time. I am lucky enough to be a small cog in the machine that provides that.

And I AM lucky – thousands want to work in theatre and many do not get the opportunity as I witnessed this week. I arrived at the London Palladium on a (very) wet Monday morning to find an enormous queue for the open auditions for the upcoming production of A Chorus Line. This was, of course, very much life imitating art – the audition process being the subject of the show – but here, first hand was what it was all about. A dedication and a passion to perform that meant hundreds of people standing in the rain for hours, just for the opportunity to try and perform on the London stage.

In the dry of the stalls as I watched the first 50 nervous hopefuls take to the stage,the tension was palpable – without being too X Factor – this was their moment. It is a tough brutal business – step forward, say your name, perform two pirouettes. That was is it, the qualifying standards were high, fewer than 50% made it through to the next round. Thank you. Goodbye. Queuing since 5am, perform for 30 seconds and it is all over. But, it is their dream, their passion – it’s worth the wet, cold and boredom if you get through. My hat goes off to all those who gave it a go.

Then, last night, I was reminded why I love this business so much when I was lucky enough to attend the sensational National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night at the Cottesloe Theatre. As I said on Twitter afterwards – it was one of the theatrical highlights of my life.

Because of my job I see a lot of theatre, and often going to the theatre can feel like work. For that reason those that know me know that I am quite a tough judge of what I see on stage – it takes a lot to impress me these days. Last night I was more than impressed, I was blown away by an amazing piece of theatre.

My partner, Paul had been badgering to see it for someone time, he had not only loved the book but had recently worked with play’s leading actor Luke Treadaway (on a film called Wasteland – featuring at the London Film Festival, get your tickets), but it had sold out, so he was thrilled when I was able to get my hands on a precious pair of tickets. It did not disappoint. Those that have read the book (I haven’t ) will know the powerful story and unique style and will fear as to how it can translate to the stage. Don’t fear – it does. The theatricality is brilliant, often simple – but enormously effective. The cast are sensational, the staging imaginative, the multi media set and lighting help paint the pictures and the adaptation delivers. The result is a piece of theatre that will stay with me for some time, it made me laugh and turned me into a blubbering wreck. Some have said that it is a little too long, but for me I didn’t want it to end.

It also did one other thing – remind me why I work in theatre.

2 Responses to “Why I work in the theatre”

  1. Lovely piece… I remember that feeling in my very first agency job when I realised that I could go and see Afterplay (starring John Hurt and Penelope Wilton) as often as I liked if there was space available. Went three times in one week!


  2. […] final (and perhaps strongest) recommendation is for a play that I raved about on these pages when I saw it at the National a few months ago. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time […]

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