‘Most Theatre Is Still Really Bad’

Playwright Mike Bartlett was interviewed in The Observer yesterday:

If you’re still going at theatre-in-the-1970s speed and your audience has been watching The Wire, then your play’s going to seem pretty slow.

….We’ve got to get away from the idea that it’s good to go to the theatre. It isn’t church. There’s nothing innately good about it. Most theatre is still really bad.


3 Replies to “‘Most Theatre Is Still Really Bad’”

  1. That’s true as far as it goes, but the bulk of anything is bad, whether it’s books, music, movies, theater or what have you. That’s what makes it the bulk rather than the cream.

    Fortunately there’s still plenty of good stuff to be found among the rest of it.

  2. Good point. And there’s actually a ton of good stuff happening in the Bay Area RIGHT NOW.

    I think what I was responding to was the idea (which I may be reading into it) that some theaters rely too much on the “we do important things that you should pay for because it’s good for you so eat your spinach” angle and not enough on the “we do cool things you won’t want to miss” angle.

  3. Oh yeah, there’s definitely something to that. And you’re absolutely right that there’s some terrific stuff on Bay Area stages at present — and thank goodness for that.

    This is the first week in more than a month that I haven’t gone to see 4 or 5 shows (no exaggeration), and frankly I wouldn’t have been able to keep up that kind of pace were it not for the fact that many of them were quite good, and some of them were fantastic.

    Others, well, can’t win ’em all.

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