Theatre is such a personal thing. I have sat in a play and hated every moment while surrounded by an audience that adores it. And vice versa. I once came out of a show that I had seen with my then partner and I raved for at least 10 minutes about how wonderful it was, how the dances were metaphors for life and living and the performances were the best I had ever seen. He was eventually able to interrupt my insane rave to say how he thought it was the worst thing ever, he had gone to sleep and the acting was atrocious. This was in the ’60s when I was involved in alternative hippie theatre where I acted in and helped write “amazing” performances that challenged the normal processes of theatre. I loved it and thought it was the beginning of a new world of theatre and the direction in which it was headed. Of course, I now pick my plays and don’t see much “challenging” theatre at all. The Sydney Theatre company does a few shows a year that could be described as different, and the Belvoir constantly challenges.
All of this is by way of an introduction to a recent weekend in Sydney where I saw three very different productions which brought these thoughts to mind.