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New Musical Theatre Experience?


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#1 HellSING

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:02 PM

Hello everyone!

We are producing a new musical, HellSING, a modern Dracula story based on original songs, inspiring dance and a story of enduring love. We would like to provide theatre-goers with new experience of musical theatre, and invite you to discussion wether you do or don't agree with us.

Do you think that we should aim to bring the theatre closer to the audience? Enable people to interact more with the performers, creators etc, for example - meet them afterwards and have an opportunity to talk about the musical? Is such interaction needed? what other forms would you suggest?

Speak up!

#2 Coggit

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:43 PM

Do you think that we should aim to bring the theatre closer to the audience?

No. I certainly don't want people running through the foyer when I'm trying to relax screaming as part of the "event" like in the promotional video on the site.

Enable people to interact more with the performers, creators etc, for example - meet them afterwards and have an opportunity to talk about the musical?

Facebook and Twitter. Many people communicate directly with their favourites actors, producers, directors and the like on there.  With groups like the WoS Club, there are always opportunities for people to meet and questions the actors and/or creative teams.

Is such interaction needed?

Not really. It's a job at the end of the day and if actors do wish to communicate with their fans on Facebook/Twitter, then great, but if not that should be respected and they certainly shouldn't be forced to do it because the musical they are working in asks it.
2013 Theatre
[West End] Shrek****, The Phantom of the Opera***, Spamalot****,The Phantom of the Opera*****, Viva Forever*, Jersey Boys****, This House***, The Book of Mormon*****, Marinda Sings Live! ***** (Booked for: Stephen Ward, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
[UK Tour] The Phantom of the Opera*****, Rocky Horror Show***, Hairspray****, The 39 Steps**, The Mousetrap***, Starlight Express****, Rocky Horror Show****

#3 wickedgrin

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 11:43 AM

Personally I loathe audience "interaction". I want to relax and enjoy watching the show and hopefully being entertained, not worrying that I am going to be "picked on" and at it's worst expected to entertain the audience with my reaction to provocation.

Feedback can be given through social media if necessary but I have found that anything other than fulsome praise to performers in the bar afterwards - "darling you were wonderful" - like constructive criticism does not go down well!

#4 Matthew Winn

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 03:06 PM

View Postwickedgrin, on 24 July 2013 - 11:43 AM, said:

Personally I loathe audience "interaction". I want to relax and enjoy watching the show and hopefully being entertained, not worrying that I am going to be "picked on" and at it's worst expected to entertain the audience with my reaction to provocation.

I agree. If you want me in the show then ask me first and put me on the payroll. I think some actors simply can't imagine anything more wonderful than being on stage and so they take it for granted that it's everybody's dearest wish. I've done some occasional work backstage in various shows and members of the cast keep telling me that as I love theatre so much I ought to be performing.

No! It is not a logical progression from enjoying various aspects of theatre to wanting to be in front of the audience, any more than it's a logical progression from enjoying holidays to wanting to run a hotel. Treating everyone as though we're all wannabe actors is stupid and annoying. Bloody stop it.

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Feedback can be given through social media if necessary but I have found that anything other than fulsome praise to performers in the bar afterwards - "darling you were wonderful" - like constructive criticism does not go down well!

I love the comments that can be taken in multiple ways, from "That was not what I expected" to the simple "Wow!"
I have always hated eggs. I remember back when I was a sperm I tried to head-butt one. It did not end well.

#5 Abby

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 03:13 PM

View Postwickedgrin, on 24 July 2013 - 11:43 AM, said:

Personally I loathe audience "interaction". I want to relax and enjoy watching the show and hopefully being entertained, not worrying that I am going to be "picked on" and at it's worst expected to entertain the audience with my reaction to provocation.

Could not agree more!

#6 wickedgrin

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 03:59 PM

Yes, sometimes I have resorted to comments in the bar afterwards like " That was a really interesting performance/production/interpretation, I've never seen anything quite like it!" The cast and creatives can then interpret as they wish!!

Or if really desperate " the curtains on the set were lovely!"

#7 poster J

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:56 AM

View PostHellSING, on 22 July 2013 - 03:02 PM, said:

Do you think that we should aim to bring the theatre closer to the audience?

No, absolutely not.  If I wanted to be closer to the theatre, I’d have gone to drama school.   I go to the theatre to relax, and to enjoy the performance without any pressure to give any kind of reaction to anything at all.  I want to be able to laugh when I want, think whatever I want about the piece and not worry about potentially getting picked on to do something.   If I found out a show did something like that, I wouldn’t go, or I’d deliberately avoid the part of the theatre likely to get picked on.  I wasn’t aware of how Hairspray did it and ended up in the front row where one of the characters climbs over those sitting there to get back onstage, and I found it incredibly uncomfortable having the spotlight on me without warning.  For the same reason, I’ll never sit front row at Spamalot.

That’s not to say that using the body of the theatre is always a bad idea though, it works perfectly well when the actors pretend as if the audience aren’t there, and simply use the aisles as another bit of set – Singin’ in the Rain is a wonderful example of that, and I loved sitting on an aisle seat near to where the action happened and simply watching the actors work.   And of course the opening sequence of the Lion King is stunning.   But neither of those involved any participation from me, I could simply watch and admire.


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Enable people to interact more with the performers, creators etc, for example - meet them afterwards and have an opportunity to talk about the musical? Is such interaction needed? what other forms would you suggest?

It’s not performers’ job to interact with the audience off-stage.  If they want to do so at stage doors, on twitter and the like, then that’s up to them.  I’ll happily stage door if I particularly loved a show or performer, and that allows me to talk to them about the musical/play, but I don’t think they should be forced to meet the audience in the bar or the like, that could be incredibly awkward.

I think there’s certainly a place for the type of thing that WoS does in terms of outings with meet and greet or Q&A sessions, and having the odd evening where a show does that would probably be very well received, but I certainly don’t think it needs to be a regular thing.    In fact, if a show regularly had producers meeting the audience in the bar, I’d get the impression they were a bit desperate to get compliments….

#8 armadillo

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:50 AM

Anyone remember the NT Mysteries? At the start, the cast (well, those whose agents hadn't managed to get them out of it), mingled about the promenaders in the Cottesloe, making polite conversation. It was excruciatingly embarassing. I would be really put off a production if I knew that having to talk to the actors was a part of it

#9 Coggit

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:55 AM

View Postwickedgrin, on 24 July 2013 - 03:59 PM, said:

Yes, sometimes I have resorted to comments in the bar afterwards like " That was a really interesting performance/production/interpretation, I've never seen anything quite like it!" The cast and creatives can then interpret as they wish!!

Or if really desperate " the curtains on the set were lovely!"

"The security curtain was stunning!".

At the Fortune a few days back, I actually thought this. It was a very nice security curtain though.
2013 Theatre
[West End] Shrek****, The Phantom of the Opera***, Spamalot****,The Phantom of the Opera*****, Viva Forever*, Jersey Boys****, This House***, The Book of Mormon*****, Marinda Sings Live! ***** (Booked for: Stephen Ward, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
[UK Tour] The Phantom of the Opera*****, Rocky Horror Show***, Hairspray****, The 39 Steps**, The Mousetrap***, Starlight Express****, Rocky Horror Show****

#10 Steve10086

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:28 AM

I hate audience interaction, and dread ever getting picked on to participate during a show.  But I have to say the audience interaction before the show at 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' at the Arts Theatre was great.  It was friendly Music Hall banter without any feeling of being shown up in front of other audience members, and really set the tone of the show.




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