Way back when, theatre was always something for the rich and privileged to go to, and even today, bizarrely there is still some sense of that stereotype that the typical theatre goer always needs to be well educated and well spoken, blah blah blah… Not at all true! But introducing new audiences and fighting down the barriers built by our ancient ancestors, is a challenge facing all theatres across the world, both regional and national.
This is why it’s great to see more and more theatres and live performance spaces engaging their audiences in a digital form, via live online streaming and live screenings to other regional venues (such as National Theatre Live productions).
Not only does it make some brilliant productions available to those not able to travel or not able to afford a ticket, it gives those who love the industry a chance to watch from the comfort of their sofa and their onesie, armed with a cuppa tea and a digestive or three! Most recently showcasing themselves and their production, Hampstead Theatre live streamed Drawing the Line online for thousands of audience members all over the world to view, also live tweeting as the production took place. NT Live is a brilliant example as it allows audiences nationwide to experience London productions including Coriolanus (Donnar Warehouse) and War Horse (National Theatre); from more intimate venues closer to home such as cinemas and Chapter Arts in Cardiff.
There are many arguments questioning whether online streaming and live cinema screenings are destroying the magic of theatre, or whether they are encouraging theatre goers. I’m not saying it’s the same experience by any means… But maybe it’s just the 21st centuries way of encouraging and promoting the beauty of live theatre.
What do you think? Feel free to comment or tweet me @chaotickirstyy