The excellent guide, Jason Raper, made the whole thing come alive and promised us that after the tour we would never view performances the same again. He was certainly right as he ran through the back stage roles and the number of people involved in virtually every performance. At times it must be total panic backstage with costume changes, but those on stage have to make it all seem seamless and natural. It might be chaos backstage but on stage it must look unhurried and calm with the audience having no idea of what a performance entails.
Shows often take two to four days to set-up with numerous massive lorries turning up with scenery etc. Getting a performance on stage is an art form in itself.
Jason explained that very few dramas sell out. Musicals and one nighters often do but only a few plays such as The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night Time which we saw on Wednesday. Other interesting insights included the fact that the theatre loves performances which include an interval because that's when they sell drinks, sweets and ice cream. Apparently there are shows without an interval such as the coming "An Inspector Calls" which runs straight through.
Then we were told about the limited attention span of young people who are used to sitting at a computer for half an hour, watching television for half an hour etc. But they are very often not used to concentrating for over two hours. If youngsters are not brought up with visits to the theatre they won't visit as adults and young people have to be the theatre-goers of the future.
Today was all about sport. First the Tour of Britain passed through our village and then Norwich City dominated Bournemouth to win 3-1. Full report in tomorrow's blog.