Part of the function of memory is to forget – I don’t want to forget, hence this blog. Going to the theatre has always been an essential and a delightful displacement to counterbalance intense commitment to my work.
Whilst growing up, my theatrical dream was to see Roger and Hammerstein’s ‘South Pacific’, lie in Bali Hai with a comforting replay of ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and ‘There’s Nothing like a Dame’ ringing in my ears. Now the prospect of musical theatre fills me with dread.
The first play which channelled my love for the theatre was a 70s production of Schaffer’s disturbing ‘Equus’. As a naïve young woman in my twenties, travelling to London was daunting enough so it was not surprising that the play’s religious and ritualistic themes eluded me. With a hangover from my Methodist schooling, I was bewildered by Alan Strang’s personal theology of the supreme Godhead, ‘Equus’ conflated with sexual attraction. What sparked my fascination was that Schaffer’s inspiration came from learning about a 17 year old boy who blinded six horses and had used it as a vehicle for a psychological exploration in a play.
For a while, my theatre escapades were confined to a single seat. I quickly learned to engage with others in the interval, often at the risk of being propositioned. Often, I could, and now still relax into a dramatic dream world during a performance. Yet theatre going as far as I am concerned often needs to be a shared experience where you can unwittingly encourage your mind to make connections and decode areas that seem confusing.
I have set myself an unwieldy task of writing most reviews retrospectively, hence the brevity of those entries.