But what’s it about?

22 Jul

Why is there so little discussion of the meaning of plays?

Is it a defense? Is it like the way we speak of people we find attractive? ‘Oh, he’s an 8’ – and by that glib reduction deny their power over us?

Or is it because we don’t expect to find any valuable meaning [any power] in a play? Do we expect to find it anywhere? And if not in art, where? Where do we think we get our ways of seeing from?

Or do we simply not realize – or refuse to acknowledge – that we see the world in a particular way? Or, as a Marxist critic might suggest, do we have a vested interested in believing that our particular vision is the unadorned Truth? 

To be honest, I find it difficult to be overly interested in judging the technical details of a production.  Maybe I lack something. But I want a play to give me more than the satisfaction that I am superior to it and its creators.

No-one survives this life, but I intend to go down fighting. I want a play to arm me for that fight. I want to leave the theatre with more than I entered. And that “more” is not disdain – or even admiration – for the artists.

The plays I need are fuel for life; logs to feed our open fire. They give warmth. They give light.  So we’ll gather, in silent fascination, and watch. And as one flickers out, we’ll throw on another, and no two will burn the same. And so we’ll pass this night, the dark and the cold all around us, and know that no dawn comes, except of our own making.

Veronica Kaye

Theatre Red

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