For #LoveTheatreDay 2018, we decided we would let you know a bit more about our team including our reason for loving theatre and our favourite theatre production.
I love theatre because there is nothing quite as immediate, connecting, frustrating, heartbreaking and life affirming as live performance. You cannot escape what’s in front of you, for better or worse, and it’s easily the best medium to discuss and debate social issues, involving the audience and allowing us to learn and grow together.
My favourite piece of theatre I’ve seen is People, Places, and Things by Duncan Macmillan. It premiered at the National in 2015, and it changed my life. I’d never seen such raw emotion and brutal honesty, a fearlessness to take the audience to uncomfortable places to ask necessary questions about mental health and addiction. Denise Gough was transcendent in the main role, and it kept me crying, gasping, and clutching at my chest from start to finish (in a good way). If it was a TV show or film it wouldn’t have had that immediate impact, and for it me it showcased the power of theatre and what it can change.
I love theatre because of the way that it connects people through shared experience. There is something so wonderful about the live experience; the sharing of stories through different forms.
It’s hard to pick a single favourite piece of theatre because there are a few that mean a lot to me for different reasons. For this, I’m going to pick a piece that I really deeply connected with when I actually started to consider a future in the arts aged 17, called Love Steals Us from Loneliness by Gary Owen and NTW. A story about my hometown, performed in my home town of Bridgend in the main room of a small music venue. It really opened my eyes to the fact that you can still create something wonderful with a minimal set and small space. This piece was funny, poetic and utterly heartbreaking in equal measure.
I love theatre because it evokes such magical, strong feelings and intimate connections in a way no other art form can. It’s so immediate. This is why I think it is the perfect tool for political protest, as well as just good old fashion entertainment. And hey, why not have it both ways?
My favourite piece of theatre ever is super tricky! It’s like being asked for your favourite song or meal. Theatre is so varied it’s hard to pick a favourite across the multitude of different styles, so I’m cheating and I’m picking two. Firstly Land of the Three Towersby an amazing company of women called ‘You Should See the Other Guy’. Not only is it such a warm, welcoming and fun show that still manages to educate people and reignite their activism, but I’m from the area the show is based, and it’s amazing to see your home reflected on stage. At a slightly different end of the spectrum, Complicité’s The Encounter was just a mind blowing visceral experience, utilising tech and storytelling. Alice and I saw it together and couldn’t speak on our way home we were so bawled over by it. Even after writing these two down I’ve changed my mind and thought of another 10 shows I could have chosen, so I’m going to just stop now.
I love theatre because of it’s immediacy. Sat there watching a performance you feel the connection between yourself and the performers in way you don’t get with any other art form.
My favourite piece of theatre is of course a difficult one to choose, but I would say that Complicite’s A Disappearing Number has to be a contender. I saw the show while studying drama in school, and it really opened my eyes to the power of performance to tell both universal and highly intimate stories, as well as showing what technical theatre is really capable of. Despite advancing technology and the ubiquitous nature of television, radio and film theatre still endures. Surely that alone demonstrates its unique power to captivate, and I think that is what I love so much about it as a form.