Whenever I go and see something and then write about it, I always go with my gut response but I try to be as articulate as possible when explaining what I think. I try even harder when I’m justifying why I didn’t like something. Then, once I’ve had my say, I make a point of seeing what others thought. It’s not like I have to read through reams of stuff. There are usually two, maybe three reviews in total in the English media on any given production. And, mostly, my opinion will be shared by at least one somebody.
So I was quite surprised to see two reviews on Isabella that pretty much raved about it. I was, like, was that the same show I saw? I know it was because I was there on the same night as one of the critics, although our experiences were so vastly different. While I thought the audience members had to shake themselves awake afterwards, he thought that they were dumbstruck and reluctant to break the magic. While I thought the show was incomplete and unready, he found it complex and magnificent. The same things that irritated me he found well done. Go figure. I guess that’s why it’s good to get more than one opinion on things, especially theatre, when the experience is obviously so subjective.
It’s just, I can’t understand how it can be so different.