Debate: the most controversial play in London

13th December 2011 Comment·

in Directors, Participatory & Interactive, Reviews and Roundtables


Panel discussion chaired by Paul Warwick of China Plate Theatre with participants Steve Marmion (Artistic Director Soho Theatre), Simon Stokes (Artistic Director Theatre Royal Plymouth), David Jubb (Artistic Director BAC), Joe Murphy (Artistic Director Nabokov) and Laura Barnett (journalist) about Ontroerend Goed’s Audience (currently at the Soho Theatre). Recorded at Soho Theatre, 10 December 2011.

Two nights ago, there was an audience who refused to dance; on other nights, everyone is up, going ‘Hey, hey, hey.’ The choice is yours.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Neil December 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

The idea that this kind of thing is some sort of antidote to ‘normal, boring plays’ is ridiculous.

When will jaded directors realise that it’s fine for an audience to be passive – storytelling is a passive experience: an audience WANTS to be spellbound, they don’t want the spell broken.

I saw the Ostermeier Hamlet the other week – it was basically lots of (excellent) actors and a director pissing around, desperately afraid of boring us. They succeeded – I wasn’t bored, I was entertained – but it wasn’t really Hamlet, or drama, or storytelling. It was a spectacle, and fairly mindless. I loved it, but it wasn’t moving or affecting – it was just like circus.

Directors will continue to do this kind of stuff, fine, and lots of it will be wonderful. But to talk of it as superior experience to watching a straight play is unfair, I think – the aims are totally different. They’re different beasts.


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