Why I Probably Won’t Go To This Shakespeare Show

This makes for very interesting albeit saddening reading. It’s refreshingly transparent, and asks questions about why audience’s haven’t bitten what sounds like a strong, professionally produced show.



Photo: Greg Veit

Attending a production of Shakespeare isn’t be at the top of my list of theatrical excursions. I like the Bard but I’m more interested in new writing, dirty cabaret, immersive clubs, live art, messy queer experiments and punishingly loud music. I feel like the conversations and experiences taking place there are more relevant to me. But I could be persuaded.  I’m not an iconoclast. So, as someone with limited time and money, I’d probably want to know:

1) How is this unlike any other Shakespeare performance I’m likely to see?
2) How is this unlike any other performance I’m likely to see?

Which it looks like Flanagan Collective are at least talking about pretty well on the event page. I hadn’t heard about the show before Lyn Gardner retweeted the blog post (to be fair, I’m in Manchester, not London, so why would I?), but it wins points on being immersive, playing with sex and gender, and has a butt-load of good reviews. It has my attention now.

For me, where I probably fall out of the buying chain is ticket price. £18 / £15 concession is totally reasonable for this kind of experience but for me to be pay above £11 for a show ticket, I have to really want to go. Like, wild horses couldn’t hold me back. For me, this could be a choice between this and Duckie’s Border Force.  That’s the reality of having a part time job and being a freelance performer with bills, food, travel and other things to pay. Where oh where is my utopian existence?

One of the things I liked about MIF this year is the £12 tickets for Manchester-postcode residents with incomes under £14,000. It works on an honesty basis, and recognises that some people can afford more than others but that should not stop people accessing great theatre. The Flanagan Collective have now introduced a pay-what-you-can system for the last 3 days. Perhaps

Theatre is really worth spending money on. Much better than the poverty-porn-portals (a.k.a TVs) we have in our homes (not mine). I’m all for doing some direct mail using these Creativity Commandments. The more people we can get passionate about performance, the better.

Anyway, good luck Flanagan Collective. I hope it turns around.

Published by Gareth

London-based artist

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