Image Source: theguardian.com
One of the patrons had attended both plays that were showing at the theatre yesterday, (I think she was a theatre critic, and she was something to do with an awards ceremony), and as she left I asked her whether she had enjoyed her day.
She responded positively, especially regarding the second of the two productions, telling me that she was going to contact the theatre critic of a major national newspaper to tell him to review the show as she felt it was something very important that needed to be transmitted to a wider audience, and that she would be recommending to her contacts that the play transferred to a larger theatre after their initial run.
Since I am intending to look at audience reactions to new works, this would have been a very useful conversation to pursue longer! She believed that the play carried a strong message and it would have been interesting to find out what she thought the impact could be, beyond the stage.
Image Source: isaiahhankel.com
This is, however, something that I have read about in one of my literature sources, and it is an interesting angle: theatre critics are, by their nature, very invested in the art form and have a lot of knowledge and experience of live performance. Therefore this would mean that they are viewing a piece differently from the 'layman' audience member who has visited for some other purpose rather than writing a review.
Within my SIG there has been a thread of discussion regarding arts criticism, with one critic stating that they feel they are never fully immersed in a production as they are always thinking about the review, coming up with lines or descriptions to use. For an audience member with no agenda, how are they going to react to a performance that carries a strong message or call for change? This is what I am interested in finding out more about.