Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Inua

The theatre question

I had a small epiphany today. I had a moment of deep insight and understanding about theatre, and why it’s so hard to get audiences, and why it could be called a dying art form. This is what I think. Theatre doesn’t deliver on its promises often enough. What that means is that theatre isn’t totally amazing enough of the time. In fact, if I am totally honest with myself, it’s mostly miss with the occasional hit. Even in one production; often the blah moments far outweigh the mind blowing ones. Now we want people to come and pay for an experience where they sit and watch live action on stage and sometimes that’s too much to ask. Sometimes the acting isn’t good enough, or the script, or the direction. Sometimes the set is crap, or the subject matter is obscure or dull.

Now when theatre makers do get it right, and the risk pays off, and the magic happens (all, or even most of the time during a performance) and the audience is transported and changed forever, a little miracle happens and we are all happier and healthier for it. When I think back on all the good shows I saw this year Jori Snell’s Inua is the one that I think about the most. For me it was the most successful in being engaging pretty much all the time. A show like that is rare to find.

Unfortunately, the others that aren’t as engaging make theatre hard to watch. Big Friendly is a great example of someone who has been burnt by bad theatre. He is much more reticent about coming with me to see stuff.

So what is the answer? What do we do? We need to make better, more engaging theatre, with better stories and greater performances. We try again, and work harder and with more magic and generosity.

Inua Essence

‘”The key is my place in the family of things” is a quote from Inua, choreographed and performed by Jori Snell at Out the Box. I cannot explain how this line and concept moved me.

I have seen Jori before, in her other eccentric and wonderful piece Very Short Stories of Creatures and Their Journey Towards a Home but this piece is better, stranger, more cohesive, and most wondrous.

I think the story is about a somebody trying to make their way in a not always friendly world, following their heart and dreams, and having to make sacrifices because they are different. That’s what I got out of it, and I found it deeply moving. Who knows? It actually doesn’t matter. It is possible to go very deep into the layers and meaning of the work, but if you don’t want to, or can’t, it is beautiful and amazing to just watch the lightshow and hear the words and music.

Inua is what visual theatre is about, and can be. Jori, of the most amazing back, has the most amazing ideas, and then executes them in a visual way, with brilliant use of lights, screens, costumes and props. She also has the most amazing aesthetic, so everything is like an expression of art. I completely loved this show. I loved it.

There is one more show on wed 24 at 8pm, but book now; this afternoon was sold out.

PS. Jori also plays a child in this show, but it speaks gibberish, and doesn’t have those sideways arms!

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