So I went to one of those fringe theatre shows, thinking it could be quite good and experimental and rather a brave booking for the church hall- a welcome change from its usual timetabled WI meetings, cubs and brownies, or just being closed, and so definitely worth supporting.
But when I got there, there was only 3 people in the audience and the show was both under-rehearsed and pretty much totally reliant on audience participation in deciding how the plot should unfold. Improv they call it.
The actor on stage was clearly waiting for me to ask a question- and kept going “Anyone? Anyone?” in a way that became rather uncomfortable because the only question I could think of was “Did I leave the oven on?”
I wondered at the interval if it would be kinder to just not go back in, but then I had paid good money for this rubbish and I couldn’t actually believe they went to the effort to put on something with absolutely nothing to say and no interesting way to say it and how it was just a waste of everyone’s time, really, unless it really picked up in the second half.
And I was telling this to one of the other audience members who said he was actually the brother of the writer and director and then introduced me to the other audience member who WAS the writer and director; and the brother said, “So you were saying something RATHER INTERESTING about the play, weren’t you?” and the writer and director looked at me expectantly.
I said I thought the poster was quite good.
It turned out they did have a better idea originally but that fell through, so they had to come up with the experimental thing at short notice and figured it wouldn’t matter if it went wrong because nobody would realise anyway.
In fact, the original idea was for a blockbuster West End musical called Nits!, about the trials and tribulations of a group of young nit friends who all grew up on the same strand of hair, and are now on the verge of adulthood, with a whole head of hair out there waiting.
We see them sing and dance their way through learning about life and love; moulting; the various nymph stages; clambering about in hair and sucking up blood.
But sadly they didn’t have the budget for costumes.