The other day I was on a jury. Not in a court of law; this was an jury for an international online theatre festival for children and young people called Theatre is my Love!
How does that work? How can theatre work from other counties be interesting for anyone here?
Well it turns out that international theatre can be fantastic. I have been working internationally for 30 years and In that time I’ve attended a lot of theatre festivals. And yes if it’s boring it can be mind-numbing dull. Usually that’s because they’ve broken the golden rule and assume that you understand the language they speak. If you don’t then that’s a BIG problem when the play is only working through words. In fact it’s frustrating.
Fortunately though there are some excellent directors out there who can make their story zing on stage. They use little language and find other ways to communicate. Here two different plays used a huge white screen with a light behind and they used the actors to create a whole world of shadows. It was beautiful, ugly, clever and imaginative all at once and it gets you thinking
This kind of theatre either works for you or it doesn’t and as it’s on line if it doesn’t work you can switch it off!
We chose plays from Malaysia, Latvia, Cuba, Lithuania and two from Russia.
The best ones drew you in with their use of atmosphere, space, music, objects and of course the story. One lovely play was about a closed community where an arranged marriage had been set up. The bridegroom turned up and promptly fell in love with the poor relation. Both shadow plays jumped from abstract images and ideas to the real world of people.
When it works international theatre reminds you that we all share the same things in our lives. There may be cultural differences between us but we are all looking for happiness with our hopes and dreams and we all have to deal with things going wrong and our dreams becoming nightmares. It’s reassuring to discover our story is the same the whole world over. We laugh and cry basically at the same things.
Theatre is my Love is on line from 19th – 23rd November.
For almost 30 years, Theatretrain’s young pupils have been taking part in International Theatre Festivals. We pride ourselves on offering all our student’s excellent opportunities to experience many different forms of theatre. To find out more about our award winning classes in acting, singing and dancing or to book a taster session at one of our performing arts schools throughout the UK visit www.theatretrain.co.uk.