Friday, 31 January 2014

Why I keep all my theatre programmes

In my office, I have boxes of programmes - I buy one every time I go to the theatre or an event, and have never thrown any away.

In these boxes are some of the first plays and films I saw as a child 

(The same local panto has been running for at least thirty years and I've been most years. The jokes haven't changed, and it's one of the most immersive theatre experiences I've ever been part of.)

and some that still send shivers down my spine years later 

(Willard White's deep, beautiful, ravaged bass voice and the fateful lines, 'Put out the light, and then put out the light' - no one else has ever made me weep so much in this scene.)


or which I've seen many times 

(Because the play transformed my understanding of what a writer could say about the meaning of life in two short acts where nothing happens, but everything does.)

as well as some more nights that I can't believe I'll ever forget

(because they were simply breathtaking and exhilarating

or because the writer had created some something truly surprising and beautiful).

Despite my heap of programmes, I quickly forget when I saw a play or a film, and often retain only a vague impression of it, or perhaps a single scene or image.

So to jog my memory, I thought I'd list the plays and films I see on my blog, starting now. Then I thought, why stop there? There's often a strange communication between the books, films, plays and galleries I spend time in, so I'm going to keep a record of all of them.

A key to the images above
The pantomime, every year, the Royal Vic in Southborough
Othello, 1989, Young Vic
Waiting for Godot, 1997, Old Vic
Jerusalem, Royal Court, 2011 (photo, Royal Court website)
London Road, National Theatre, 2011 (photo by Mark Douet)