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Help with research - Nudity on stage


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#11 tadpole

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 08:31 PM

1) does nudity have a place on stage?

It occurs there, certainly. I assume you're asking if I think that it *should*. To which I'd have to say it depends on the particular circumstances but yes, I think it is sometimes appropriate.

2) does nudity in a show make us attend/not attend a show?

Some of us, yes. Others, no. Sorry if that's unhelpful!  unsure.gif

3) do we as public go to see shows with nudity to be vouyers and see a star naked?

As above.

4) with more shows using nudity eg blue room, trainspotting, equus etc is this a publicity ploy by producers?

I'm not convinced this is a new trend. Nudity, violence, profanity etc have often been used in the arts to provoke a reaction. This can sometimes be simple, low, blatant publicity seeking, at other times it can be a genuine attempt to shake people out of their comfort zones and make them think. The dividing line is not always clear.

Any other comments

Every generation has new ways of being offended. Equus has had almost as much controversy around it over the cigarette smoking (perfectly normal in the 1970's) as it has over the nudity.

#12 Moose

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 03:11 PM

1) does nudity have a place on stage?
Yes. Everyone is naked under their clothes and I have NO idea why some people have such a problem with it. It's far more realistic than on TV when everyone has sex in a vest!

2) does nudity in a show make us attend/not attend a show?
Me personally no, but I imagine "see Harry Potter naked" sold the show to some people.

3) do we as public go to see shows with nudity to be vouyers and see a star naked?
Again, not me personally.

4) with more shows using nudity eg blue room, trainspotting, equus etc is this a publicity ploy by producers?
I think with Equus yes. Even if the images of Daniel Radcliffe and Joanna Christie were not meant to be provocative but "art" shots, it's inevitable that people will pick up the story much more if there's nudity involved. The producers knew that the shots that were released will provide much more publicity than a pic of DR and Richard Griffiths talking.


#13 teaboy

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 08:00 PM

If nudity is integral to the performance you shouldn't really notice it.

Equus was going to sell because it's 'Harry Potter' on stage, the nudity will only appeal to some (generally those with single seats in the front row!)

Producers will use ANYTHING as publicity, if it will generate ticket sales.

I'ts impossible to identify the reasons 'the public' will go to see a show - much too wide a demographic!!
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#14 Backdrifter

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 12:23 PM

Sometimes it's essential/integral, yes. The last couple of Terry Johnsons got me a bit suspicious though.

I'm not usually in a position to book on the basis of a particular performer being nude - I tend to book for things extremely early, often before casting is announced. The performers I might want to see naked for the sake of it are probably performers I want to see anyway, naked or not.

I'm not sure about question 4 in the survey. It's very woolly - "with more shows using nudity..." - what does that mean? Have you quantified that? Maybe there are "more" shows using it but in a survey you'd have to be a bit clearer about it, rather than naming three plays spread over the course of about 10 years and sticking 'etc' at the end of it. Sorry, I don't mean to sound so grouchy. I just think your question is better off as just the 2nd bit - is it used for publicity. I suppose it's possible that PR people might feed the media tipoffs that someone gets their kit off.
QUOTE(teaboy @ Mar 5 2007, 08:00 PM) View Post
nudity will only appeal to some (generally those with single seats in the front row!)

I have to say that, as a frequent lone theatregoer and a front-row-stalls-lover, I occasionally wonder whether I look like this. Now I'm miffed to hear someone voice it!
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#15 pesa

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 05:05 PM

Given many peoples comments here I would hate to be either 'single' or 'short sighted' with a need to sit close to the front!
Many of the responses seem rather judgmental.

I'm sure it's a British thing in that many seem to have an almost 'carry on films' attitude to nudity on stage or anywhere else for that matter, you will always get 'trouser fumblers' at the Theatre if there is even a chance that any of the cast will appear naked or semi naked but I'd like to think that on the whole the majority of the audience at such shows are going to see the play 'despite' the nudity and not because of it.

Whatever it is an interesting question with some even more interesting responses.

#16 teaboy

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:33 PM

Backdrifter, the important issue is whether you come into my sweeping generalisation or not!   tongue.gif

As someone who works in ticketing I frequently have requests for 'seats as close as possible, so I can get a good view', especially for Equus! Maybe we've spoken... wink.gif
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#17 thecrucible

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:36 PM

I think what's interesting is that most of the comments which have been made relate to the famous examples of nudity on stage in recent years - Nicole Kidman, Daniel Radcliffe, various stars of the The Graduate. Many, many plays have appeared over the years with nudity in them but no one knew or cared outside of the actual audience because it wasn't a famous person who was naked.
Look at even The Blue Room, where Nicole Kidman's nudity was plastered everywhere but Iain Glen's far more explicit nakedness was hardly even mentioned (Iain Glen is a very respected actor but not exactly a star)
I personally cringe at nudity on stage (maybe more to do with my own psyche but this isn't the place for that conversation) - the naked male, particularly, in his natural state (as opposed to aroused) is a slightly amusing sight and it distracts me from the action. for me, it's a bit like putting a live animal on stage - you spend your whole time thinking "oh look, that's a real horse / rabbit / monkey / naked person" instead of engaging with the drama of the moment.
Theatre is artifice and I think unless you can make a really strong case for why you impose something so inescapably real as a naked human figure into that artifice, then you will ultimately just create a jarring moment.
This is only my personal, very subjective opinion but there you go.



#18 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:54 PM

1) does nudity have a place on stage?
Yes, if it is appropriate for the context of the show.  I wouldn't want to see a singer conduct a recital sans clothing but in the right place at the right time fine.  I have occasionally thought a character should have fewer clothes on and been momentarily distracted as a result (women getting out of bed with tights on for example - who does that?!).

2) does nudity in a show make us attend/not attend a show?
It doesn't make me attend.  Most of the time it wouldn't make me not attend, though I did choose not to see puppetry of the penis, and I can think of one or two actors I'd rather not see nekkid.  blink.gif

3) do we as public go to see shows with nudity to be vouyers and see a star naked?
With the possible exception of mega A listers, no.  Surely if you want to see a stars bits you can do that in widescreen these days?

4) with more shows using nudity eg blue room, trainspotting, equus etc is this a publicity ploy by producers?
If it's a mega A lister involved then I suppose it could be an added attraction that marketing can make use of though I would suggest it's the star not the nudity that is the real attraction and the nudity is driven by the play rather than the publicity team.  Daniel Radcliffe clothed in Equus would have attracted as many bookings as Daniel Radcliffe unclothed. (And if anyone really has gone because they want to see a 17 year old boy's penis then I give up.)  No one is interested in the girl unclothed because she's not a star.  And what if it was Richard Griffiths unclothed?  Ultimtely the nudity is not what is pulling in the punters.

#19 Blue

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 12:28 PM

QUOTE
Ultimtely the nudity is not what is pulling in the punters.


I agree with that. I think it has taken good business because of the star factor. People want to see Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths. If it had been any other play featuring those two I'm sure that booking would just have been as good.

I'm going to see this play because

1) I've never seen the play before only the film
2) I'm a big fan of Richard Griffiths
3) I saw the poster of the horse/man and it made me want to see it
4) I like going out to the theatre

#20 QuincyMD

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 12:58 PM

1) does nudity have a place on stage?

Sometimes.

2) does nudity in a show make us attend/not attend a show?

Depends on whether or not I want to see the show, I had no interest in seeing a 60 year old naked but I still went to see The Graduate as it's one of my favourite films.

3) do we as public go to see shows with nudity to be vouyers and see a star naked?

I've seen The Graduate, The Full Monty, One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, Blackbird and Equus with nudity and maybe some more that I've forgotten and in none of them have I wanted to see the star naked and I didn't know that Frances Barber and Jodhi May would be getting nude until it actually happened so it had no impact on my decision to buy a ticket.

4) with more shows using nudity eg blue room, trainspotting, equus etc is this a publicity ploy by producers?

Only by some producers.
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