As a general principle, I don’t believe in previews. I know they exist, but why? Every performance is a work in progress, so why make a difference? Or do you deliberately invite audiences in to see work that you don’t believe you can charge full price for?
Aaaargh! So now I am hoist with my own petard, because tonight we had a preview. It was actually our final dress and tech run, but there were certain people who needed to see the show, who couldn’t make it to the actual performances, so we opened the doors to them, and boy oh boy, am I glad we did! Because we actually got to play with an audience, as against the invisible, imaginary people we’ve been playing with so far.
I had the opportunity to experience all of those audience responses that can occur when an actor addresses audience members directly, from the friendly semi-smile to the hard stare to the sliding-look-away, to the ‘oh alright I’ll tell you what I think, since you’ve asked!’. The experience was invaluable, because now I realise how much more clear and precise I need to be in communicating that when I am talking to you, in the audience, I am not pretending to do it, I really am talking to you. And if you don’t like it, you are welcome to ignore me. And if are ok with it, and have a point or a comment to make, please feel free to do so. It’s that kind of a show.
It may not be any kind of a show you are familiar with. There is no intention to humiliate the audience, on the contrary, you are honoured guests AND members of the community that makes up the world of the play, not as actors, but as yourselves (and isn’t that the best kind of acting?)
So many questions, and I’m sure there are many different opinions. I hope you will come along to one our our performances (only four, remember!), and don’t leave without having a chat with us in the foyer afterwards.
Oh, and I must remind you, there are no credit card facilities at The Geoffrey, so only cash sales at the door.