After a brief absence to put his company on the rails, Matt Slaybaugh of Theatreforte returns to the theatre blogoshere with a bang. Yesterday he quoted Simon McBurney on naturalism in the theatre, in a piece that is simply the best articulated essay on the uniqueness of the form that I think I’ve ever read. It speaks to why it only works in space shared between players and observers. And also why theatre should never, ever, be put to film. It’s a splendid treatise, for me it’s one of those pieces of ephemera that float around the internet that you wish you’d written. A sampling…
In the end the only question in the theatre is: How does the play become alive? In fact, theatre only exists in the mind of the audience – it does not exist on stage, or in a play. It only exists because the audience brings it alive.
Everyone thought theatre would die with the appearance of cinema, just as everyone thought painting would die with the appearance of photography. But all photography did was to liberate painting to be itself.
[…] That’s why theatre can’t work on video. It’s an imaginative act on the part of the audience. And that is theatre’s appeal, that’s why it continues.
Please click here to read the full piece from McBurney. Then click here to meet Slay, face to face. The theatrosphere rules.