Proscenium Ark

I went to the theatre last night, but it’s kind of hard to tell you what I saw. It’s called “La Veillée des Abysses“, and it’s a mixture of dance, theatre, slapstick, acrobatics and music. You can see some clips here.

Others (both paid and unpaid critics) have described it better than I can, but let’s just say that I was reduced to tears of laughter by a man seemingly unable to sit on a chair, and enchanted by a woman crawling like a spider across a gigantic wrought iron gate. It certainly beats the overproduced Cirque du Soleil show I saw a few years ago.

As I go to the theatre much less often than I go to the cinema, I was struck again last night by the lack of editing. What I mean here is that in a film the director tells you very specifically what you should be looking at at any given moment (unless it’s one of those sadly rare directors willing to let scenes play out in a wide shot), whereas on the stage your eye is free to wander, lingering on a background character or an element of the stage design, rather than always being guided to the main action. Sometimes it’s nice to have that choice…

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