Thursday, January 17, 2008

Second Chances

While I will happily sit through a film I like several times over, enjoying the peeling back of layers, the subtle revelation of new details, I rarely return for a second visit to anything I’ve seen at the theatre. This is not through lack of desire, there have been a number of shows over the last couple of years that I would have gladly revisited, but time and financial constraints plus my magpie-eyed attraction to the shiny and new, usually get in the way of my wish to see something a second time around.

On the list of things I was keen to go back to, the production of Metamorphosis by David Farr and Gisli Orn Gardarsson at the Lyric, was admittedly not high. I remember enjoying certain elements of this physical retelling of Kafka but being rather disappointed with the show as a whole, something about it just didn’t click with me. Still I had a friend who was super keen to go, and I was curious to see how it might have changed with a new cast in place.

The person I went with previously was a theatre-literate sort, a friend who knew her Kneehigh from her Frantic Assembly. We’d gone along to see Metamorphosis on the back of seeing several other physical theatre productions that we’d both really enjoyed. And we both came out feeling slightly disappointed, admitting to a certain sense of ‘seen it all before.’ The dangling from ropes and the acrobatics, though impressive, were just too over-familiar to really wow us. I remember chatting with her in the bar afterwards and discussing how our expectations had been incredibly high. We’d read the names of the companies and individuals involved and gone in there with our critical hats firmly in place, hungry to be elevated and shown something new. Going to the theatre remains one of my life’s key pleasures; it can still make me childishly giddy with excitement at times, and yet seeing as many shows as I do, it can make you, if not exactly cynical, then certainly a fussier customer than most.

So it was refreshing to return to the show with someone who was going in clean as it were, who’d not been to the theatre in a good year or two, and was thoroughly engrossed and amazed by what they saw. It was an infectious feeling and I found myself feeding of their enthusiasm. I still don’t love the production, I still find it flawed, but having seen it again, I think I appreciated it more.

On an unrelated note I’ve just checked my stats and noticed a number of people arriving here, I expect on the back of the last but one post, after searching for ‘nice girl spanking,’ ‘naked belly dancing’ and ‘shiny pants.’ There's not really much I can add to that, is there?

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