I’ve had long conversations with people younger than me about popular culture of the past that have left me confused about the way that information is absorbed nowadays. Whenever I talk to more mature folks about people and events from before my time, I have accepted that they would be in a better position than me to know the way things felt when I wasn’t yet born or aware of things enough to form opinions. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the younger folks that I have discussed matters with.
I accept that my sensibility might be unique and personal. Last night I saw a theatre show that attempted to tell the story of pioneers in the struggle for women’s suffrage in the UK. The facts of the story are highly compelling and the creative team behind the show must have found it tricky to decide which events or dynamics to focus on. I felt there were some elements that needed to be highlighted that seemed to be missing.
A choice was made with regard to the storytelling aesthetics of the piece that could be regarded as controversial by some, but I was able to buy into that world rather quickly. As a willing passenger on the journey, I hoped that the boundaries of those aesthetics would be stretched in exhilarating ways. Most of the audience members around me seemed to be happy enough, but I struggled to stay engaged with the proceedings for a significant amount of time.
Is it possible that the people I was with were too easily pleased? Or is it likely that the show wasn’t created with folks like me in mind?
Perhaps the show’s creative team would be pleased to know that I was interested enough to do some research into the historical events that they drew their material from. Is it pedantic to want to experience magic in the telling of stories through performance?