I am in between things. I have a little more free time on my hands but I can’t remember one single thing on my urgent to-do-once-I-have-a-moment-of-free-time list. Not one thing. I can’t remember one single burningly brilliant idea for a play/story/novel out of the 160 000 I had when I was busy. The only thing I have a proper deadline for is this blog post; I have joined a group of bloggers and we are all writing posts on this exact topic.
So, I was thinking about boredom, especially in my current state, which, if I am honest, is more like waiting then actual boredom, and I was trying to think about the worst kind of boredom there is. It is this. What takes boredom to the whole new level of art is having to sit through bad theatre. I have seen a few of these in the last while, which is why it springs so readily to mind.
This height of boredom has certain ingredients. Usually (but not always) there is a small audience, where every single person, including you, can be seen by the performer (or performers). Secondly, the costumes, props and set are a collection of things from people’s houses. Also, there hasn’t been a proper or detailed rehearsal process (so some things you know for certain weren’t really 100% planned). Sometimes the director is in it, and sometimes they are also the writer.
Sometimes you know you are in for it the minute the lights go down; that sinking, dreaded feeling that you are trapped for, did they say an hour on the website? Sometimes it takes a bit longer. You think, hey, I wonder how far in we are, and you look at your watch and exactly four minutes have crawled by since it started.
This special kind of boredom is the worst kind of hell, since you put yourself through it. There is nothing you can do. Resigning yourself to it is half the battle. It is like agreeing to an anal probe, made creatively with used car parts. It is like having that anal probe on your seat, and even the slightest nodding off will move you into a sharp, prodding pain. Even closed eyes will get you into trouble; not that you could, the performer (or performers) search the audience’s faces like a beach combing device. There you sit, imagining tearing your eyeballs out, from the inside. Pushing them out actually, with your tongue, which is attached to the anal probe and now going through your brain.
Bad theatre is so, so, so boring. It is boring and dangerous. If you have experienced it you will always remember it. It will scar you, leaving giant welts of boredom memory in your being, and it could put you off ever going to the theatre again. I have been scarred. Which is why I haven’t seen anything for over a month. Maybe two. I made the excuse that I have been so, so busy. And theatre is on my to do list. But I can’t remember what exactly suddenly. I’ll have to wait.
These guys have written their own blog posts on the topic The Art of Boredom. Check them out. I can’t wait to.