Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Back tracking to " Almost Maine"

I went and watched a play over the weekend. I am always nervous of shows because I am hyper critical and difficult to please. People who do plays are generally sensitive and emotionally invested in something they have spent months working on. Everyone involved wants you to say "Darling you were wonderful" and most of the time you can't say that. Now generally that is okay because my opinion is not written down anywhere. Generally. If I am going to blog it is possible that someone other them my family will read what I think, what I really, really think. So it is a HUGH relief to be able to say that the play was a complete delight. In a nut shell the play is made up of several sketches between couples that live in the fictitious town of Almost in Maine. The sketches are delightfully quirky romantic, surprising and heartwarming. To borrow from a friend, I wanted to take all the characters and put them in my pocket and love them.

I had read bits of the script. In other words  I helped Bryan with his lines once and was told "thanks but no thanks" because I insisted that he get EVERY word right..... I mean that is the point of learning the words right? Anyway, I am getting off the point. When I read (the tiny bit of the script that I did read) I thought "Holy Moly (I never say Holy Moly -censored bit) this is an unforgiving script". Spare and made to allow the meaning to be conveyed through the action. If you do not get it exactly right it could go horribly wrong or be just plain dull. The Director and the Cast got it spot on. They made that script hum and zing. The timing was great, the pauses exactly right, gush, gush, gush. Sigh- what a treat to see really good theatre in Dubai.

I do have a criticism or two -well I can always find something. I believe that audiences need to be lead a bit. They need to know when something is over. I felt that the end of each sketch could have done with the lights fading out or blacking out a bit quicker. We did not know, as the audience, if this was  really it and considering that there where many sketches I felt that the cast were deprived of  thundering  applause as they did not know that it was time to thunderously applaud.

My other gripe is a general one for theatre productions in Dubai and I know that there is no easy solution to this. The runs are too short for the shows to really take off. This puts a great deal of pressure on producers to get the PR side of things done before the show. Word of mouth for good shows has no value. But what to do? This affects  ( is it affect or effect?) Amateur Dramatic shows more as they have imaginary budgets.

1 comment:

bartwolffe said...

Hope you keep pushing the edges back, making it happen. Good to read about your continued love of theatre and life. Pundits and applause!