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Olivier Awards


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#11 Jan Brock

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:16 AM

QUOTE(rds @ Mar 24 2010, 02:12 PM) View Post
How did you arrive at that opinion?


That's what the BBC said when they stopped broadcasting them (which they did up to fairly recently at least).

Incidentally, now is totally the wrong time to be asking Mark Thompson to expand TV coverage for a minority interest, if I were him I'd ask you to justify why you are more important than the Asian Network radio station he is closing.

I agree in general about the temptation to skew the awards towards celbrities, but the opposite is a problem too - how many TV viewers do you think would be interested in the fact that the best new play of the year was apparently "The Mountaintop" ? About 50 ? I mean, even I couldn't care less.

#12 Danube

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:32 AM

We're not asking for a whole new tv channel to cover theatre.  It's just one tv show that could slot into the existing schedule on BBC2 or BBC4.  However much the BBC normally spend on two hours of broadcasting for whichever channel was selected could be given to putting together something more tv friendly instead.

With the BAFTAs they already edit out the more technical and less general punter friendly awards into a montage of "other winners", so something similar could be done for the awards that have less interest outside the core industry.  I still think that it wouldn't be that hard to create a couple of new awards that look beyond London to get over that concern too.  Although a lot of the BBC output is London-centric, so that's just an excuse IMO.

Some compromises might have to be made from both sides, but theatre is very popular, and viewing figures for the online screening are evidence that there is an audience.

#13 Jan Brock

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:01 AM

QUOTE(Danube @ Mar 25 2010, 08:32 AM) View Post
We're not asking for a whole new tv channel to cover theatre.  It's just one tv show that could slot into the existing schedule on BBC2 or BBC4.


The BBC screened them on TV until 2003, then they stopped due to lack of viewer interest. This year you could watch them via internet and they were broadcast (apparently) on Radio 2. I can't see any compelling reason to expand coverage beyond that.

#14 Alexandra

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:33 AM

It's not just the BBC either. ITV used to show the Evening Standard awards (not live - a day or so later), but they stopped too.

#15 rds

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:06 AM

Perhaps if there was a wider coverage the results would be less...eccentric?

#16 rds

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:10 AM

QUOTE(Danube @ Mar 25 2010, 08:32 AM) View Post
Some compromises might have to be made from both sides, but theatre is very popular, and viewing figures for the online screening are evidence that there is an audience.


Absolutely, it should be expanded to include regional theatre too. Leicester's Curve, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible etc, etc all do great things and produce some of the very best  performances of the year.

#17 Jan Brock

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:41 AM

QUOTE(rds @ Mar 25 2010, 10:10 AM) View Post
Absolutely, it should be expanded to include regional theatre too. Leicester's Curve, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible etc, etc all do great things and produce some of the very best  performances of the year.


Why on earth would I want to watch an awards programme involving something that may have been on at Leicester's Curve ? The only awards programmes worth showing on national TV are those where the audience has had some chance to see the events concerned - so, for film and TV and books. You haven't made any case for the awards to be shown on TV rather than on-line.

#18 Danube

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:23 PM

People have given perfectly valid reasons why it should be given another go on tv.  Just because you don't like any of them doesn't make them invalid.

As I said before, mentioning the cut-backs of whole radio stations is irrelevant, as no-one is asking for a whole channel.

The way we view tv has changed since they were last on tv.  Digital channels are crying out for content, and as the webcast got such fantastic figures, it shows that there is an audience too.  It might not be massive, and perhaps not big enough for BBC2 in its current format, but as the awards ceremony is being held anyway, it only has to get as much as other shows in the same slot.  The BBC had massive hit shows finding new theatre stars, so I can't believe that it cannot bring a fraction of that audience to an awards ceremony if done well.

You might not care what is on at a theatre in Leicester, and arguably I'm not either.  However, touring shows that visit a number of cities will be of interest to people all over the country.  You said that the show was too London-centric to be on tv.  Perhaps that's how you like it, but there's more to theatre than what is happening in London and it wouldn't hurt to reflect that.

Londoners shouldn't get too precious.  Many a great show starts in the provinces before transfering to the big smoke.  Perhaps you could think of it as a preview or "up and coming" award if if makes you feel better.

There are also some amazing happenings at the arts festivals, such as Edinburgh.  A category for that to redress the London bias wouldn't be too painful would it?

Not everyone who likes the theatre likes all genres, so that shouldn't be essential.

The radio coverage was poor, because it finished long before the awards did, and missed performances etc.  I'm sure the webcast would have been good, but I wasn't at home, so couldn't see it, and no option to set the recorder either.  Those who did see it said it was fine, but would rather see it on a tv.  The fact that it stalled a lot suggests it was over-subscribed.

People are fretting about it being over-run with celebrities, but they already try to get celebs to present the awards.  With a tv audience, they'll get a better choice, and some of those people getting the awards might increase their celebrity, and most importantly the free advertising for all the nominated shows would do them all good, and open up a lot of people to trying something a bit different.

I really don't understand why some people are against it.  Let the BBC say no if they must, but I don't understand why a theatre fan would be happy for the show to be hidden away where only the most hard-core of theatre fans, with internet access, can see it.

#19 Jan Brock

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 08:00 AM

My problem really is that the whole thing is ersatz twice-removed, not only is it trying to represent to the public one medium (theatre) through an entirely different medium (TV) but it is also some strange meta-theatrical event that it not directly theatre but an awards ceremony referring to it (and productions most of the audience haven't seen).

I don't know if you recall when the BBC did use to show it - there was nothing more cringe-makingly embarrassing than the little excerpts from shows they used to show to punctuate the awards themselves - and nothing more likely to put the general viewer off ever going to the theatre. I have the same opinion of the Booker prize ceremony - not sure if they have dropped that one too ? National TV Soap awards are OK for TV though.


#20 Backdrifter

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:23 AM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Mar 26 2010, 08:00 AM) View Post
I don't know if you recall when the BBC did use to show it - there was nothing more cringe-makingly embarrassing than the little excerpts from shows they used to show to punctuate the awards themselves - and nothing more likely to put the general viewer off ever going to the theatre.

Yes. Theatre going straight to TV looks horrible - like on Late Review etc. Stuff I've seen on stage, and thoroughly enjoyed, looks rubbish on TV. Which is, of course, obvious.

I feel like I should be aggrieved the Oliviers aren't on TV. But I just can't get worked up about it at all.
Turn up the signal... wipe out the noise




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