Tuesday August 15, two shows, one worthy of comment, one of which we shall not speak.
First was Hamlettes, from American High School Theatre Festival, on its last night. I gleaned quickly from the programme that I would probably have enjoyed this more if I had a knowledge of the film Mean Girls, but all the same, there were many deft touches in the language and the staging, and with a bigger, more receptive audience it could have gone down really well. Unusually for an AHSTF production, there were only three actors – usually they have large casts. One of the actors has the same surname as one of the sponsoring companies.
What really sabotaged a promising production was the photographer the company had hired, who sat in the front row with a digital SLR. The camera had a bright back screen, a huge telephoto lens and of course, SLRs make a clicking noise. And this guy was taking on average three shots a minute, for all of the 75 minutes of the play. I was in the back row and it was driving me nuts, so the people in the first few rows must have wanted to murder him. At least I could interpose other people between me and the screen, they had to contend with the screen and the swinging about of the lens.
On the way out, we did point out to the “freelance” how annoying his photography was; a lady with lots of laminates, whom I assume was with the company, dismissively said she would “take our comments on board.” But clearly, the vanity nature of the project had overtaken the needs of the paying audience. The kids have their snaps, but I doubt we will attend AHSTF presentations in future.