Delight (what delights us in theatre)

Convener(s): Alex Scott

Participants: Unrecorded

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

This was a positive, exciting conversation from which we have created a list of delights!...

  • Shameless theatricality
  • Surprises
  • changes of scale
  • unexpected skills
  • Real, unpredictable things on stage, the possibility of error, actors overcoming danger
  • dogs
  • cooking
  • children
  • Accidents that are incorporated.
  • Naughtiness
  • A show that is advertised as being ticketed, but when you arrive at the box office it is free.
  • Swordfights (and pirates).
  • Gifts for the audience (material and metaphorical, all the action is ‘for’ them)
  • Switching roles
  • ugly people made pretty, pretty made ugly.
  • Serious people made silly and vice versa.
  • Moments that are unafraid of being obvious.
  • Dry ice (not smoke)
  • Stage magic (star cloths, fairy lights, trap doors, secrets)
  • Science experiments, explosions, things/people on fire.
  • Childhood dreams being performed (sliding down stairs on a mattress etc.)
  • Playing
  • Improvisation
  • Excess (of anything e.g. a thousand balloons falling)
  • Spectacle
  • Water
  • Mess
  • Displays of skill (precision, apparently superhuman skills)
  • Lack of skill for comic effect
  • Obvious effort
  • An experience that starts at the door of the theatre
  • Recklessness/inappropriate actions
  • Performers who include the audience in their own delight at performing.
  • Being on someone’s side
  • Being won over by a character
  • Silliness
  • Villains
  • Tiny details
  • The feeling that you are being shown a secret
  • Honesty of trickery (seeing how things are made)
  • Visible creativity- seeing something made from nothing
  • Object manipulation
  • Structure
  • Getting lost