theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
‘If the audience were indeed entitled to know about elements that might alarm, distress or offend them, why should this be restricted to effects? No show is perfect, and shouldn’t managements alert the public to things they really do have a right to know about, such as dicky casting, gloomy lighting and cheapskate design? If the audience needs to be alerted to liquid droplets or harmless vegetable substances, shouldn’t they also know about creaky exposition, wonky plotting or one-dimensional characters? (“This production contains significant longueurs towards the beginning of act two.”) And if warning of gunfire and explosions gives away the ending, shouldn’t the public be informed when plays don’t have one – or have three?’
Playwright David Edgar in The Guardian bemoaning the increasing tendency to warn audiences, not just about sex, nudity, or violence but every possible element that might just possibly offend. At the time, his Nicholas Nickleby had just opened at Chichester Festival Theatre. Jonathan Church, assisted by Philip Franks, directed a cast that included Susan Jameson, Leigh Lawson, Dilys Laye, Abigail McKern and Pip Donaghy.
Originally published on R&V 23-07-06
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