Theatre: If you don’t get it, don’t ridicule it

Before you read this ask yourself – how many times have you seen a piece of theatre? Not a musical, an actual piece of straight theatre.

Before you read this ask yourself – how many times have you seen a piece of theatre? Not a musical, an actual piece of straight theatre. If you have, have you enjoyed it and understood it?

I am all for everyone going to see a piece of theatre at least once (as I know tickets can be expensive). But I refuse to endure a play whereby there are other audience members around me who are slating the piece simply because they do not understand the plot.

Everyone is allowed their opinion but when it comes to slating a piece of theatre for reasons that are simply justified as “I don’t get it, its rubbish,” it is absurd. I have friends that are not in the theatre world or do not have any interest in theatre, which is fine.

Lack of perception

However when I was studying Performance Studies and Dance A Level, they acted disgracefully. There were times where I have had to watch video clips from Alvin Ailey’s Revelations and to them it looked like people wearing yellow costumes prancing around on the stage but to me it was so much more.

I did explain to them the reason behind the choice of choreography and if Ailey did what he did, but they still laughed in my face as they did not understand. Is that due to the fact that Alvin Ailey has not made the piece accessible or is it due to the viewer who has a lack of knowledge and understanding when it comes to the arts?

Sometimes I wonder if people who do not understand art are simply closed minded as they refuse to see what art really is. They have this perception that theatre especially is all about razzle, dazzle and jazz hands etc. Sometimes it can be if you are watching Chicago the Musical. But I want to understand why people do not understand contemporary forms of theatre.

Embrace creativity in all forms

I am all for making the theatre accessible and educating those who need to widen their horizons when it comes to art but sometimes maybe it is better for those who are already involved in the cultured industry to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful art of theatre.

I do not always nor do I pretend to understand art but I try to appreciate it, even when it is in a world where I do not understand, such as sport. I do not ridicule it, I have others around me to inform me and I do my research and appreciate it.

But everyone interprets art differently but it is those who feel it acceptable to call a man who is dancing on stage gay, simply because he is on stage which I view as far too narrow-minded.

But why are these people creating these perceptions? They need to be open minded to it or if they have no interest and do not want to find an interest in art then stop ridiculing the art form. 

I may be a tad biased here as I am heavily involved in the arts and have been for a while, but I believe that no matter if you are involved in the arts or not it can be a great creative outlet.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Johnmuggleton / Wikimedia Commons