Living The High Rise #eStateOfMind Life
I started writing this back at the start of May, for whatever reason, it never got posted. So, on the 14th June, here it is...
Last time I wrote, back in March, we we’re just about to undergo the first run for the latest show, High Rise eState Of Mind, at Battersea Arts Centre and now, we’re hours away from the first night at Camden People’s Theatre, just three days after taking the show to Gloucester. Thought I’d write down a few thoughts prior to this latest run.
As part of a few things to promote the show, High Rise #eStateOdMind for our BAC run in March, we went on London Live TV. It was really brief but an interesting experiance. The offices were in Kensington - same place where the Daily Mail and The Standard are (same umbrealla compay, I beleive). - all marble, brass and woodpanelling everywhere, framed photos of what I assumed were / are prominant people. We got ushered into this little green room, given a cup of tea, miced up and then taken into this small studio, where we met the host. He was a nice guy and had read the orignial JG Ballard book, so freestyled the questions a bit, as oppose to reading from this little auto-cue (first time I’d ever seen one) - he threw me a bit of a curve ball when he asked me about the ending of the show, as the book gets pretty dark - well so does the show but I did’nt wonna’ say to much - fumbled my way through it, felt like a bit of plank but the overall interview went well. We were in and out in about twenty minuites, just like that.
After the TV thing aired, lots of my freinds and family were like ‘you’re on the telly!!’ - which was cool, but they did’nt react in the same way when I told them we’d been programmed for two full runs at Battersea Arts Centre and Camden Peolpe’s Theatre, which for me, with what I’m trying to do, is a much bigger deal than getting on the telly for a couple of minutes. Which got me thinking, why would they?
Apart from football, I don’t realy watch telly anymore, what with Nextflix, You Tube and all that, I’d have thought it’s the same for a lot of poeple in a similar deographic, however, this TV thing still has a massive reach, even it if it just a local one, like London Live. They’re going to thousands each and every time, sometimes more, not hundreds, or tens. The latter is what I experiance the most of in terms of audiances. Whilst theatre’s, particulary fringe theatre’s, in their own right, also have a big reach, however, you’ve gotta’ be on their rador for it to reach, and it’s minor compared to the telly, in my experiance anyway. Sadly, many people (most of my freinds and family) still are’nt on that rador, unless they’ve got a mate or family member who happens to be into it. It stands to reason that they might not appriciate how much of a big deal it is for me, to get a theatre show made and programmed, in a decent venue, way bigger than a breif appearence on the TV, just to plug the show.
The capacity in the Rec Room (where we performed at BAC) was about sixty five, we sold out six of the ten nights in there. To me, that’s amazing. Sixty five is pretty small but really, is pretty big, big for me! To get more than twenty people, to come and watch a show, for two weeks, is a massive deal. We’re in a fringe arts venue, making fringe art, which is fringe even within the fringe. There’s also (probably) way more people tryng to make this stuff than there are venue’s to put it on, so we’re lucky, we did well. (the CPT run also went well too, sold out a couple of those nights, chuffed, mate!) Have a read of a few of the Stage Door Reviews here
Suffice to say, all my freinds and family that came said they enjoyed it, some even came twice. They may well be biased but quite a few bought freinds along, or told their freinds to come after seeing it themselvs. We had many people come and watch who rarley ever go to see live theatre, who would probably go again, now that they’ve been. I think the lesson in all of this, is if the theatres have the right shows and they’re able to reach out to these people, they can bring in more and more people, thus not having to rely on TV Stations and newspapers to convince people to come and support it, they’ll just come anyway, becuase it’s no longer a fringe thing, this stuff should be for everyone.