Looking forward to rediscovering the magic of the theatre
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Exmouth author Emma Richardson writes for the Journal.
The great actor Simon Callow once said “To enter a theatre for a performance is to be inducted into a magical space, to be ushered into the sacred arena of the imagination.”
As a writer and avid reader, the theatre experience is very much like the imagined worlds I conjure in my head as I work or read- but in real space and time.
I love the theatre and will pretty much go and see anything from Am Dram to Shakespeare and everything in between.
Why do enjoy it so much? Let’s see, it’s the dressing up for the occasion, buying the programme, the ice creams in the interval, the weight of the heavy red safety curtain, the smells and the sounds.
More than anything else, I love the magic of theatre and seeing stories brought to life. I have been waiting with baited breath for the ‘What’s on’ listings to start up again and just recently it would appear that wait is over.
We have a variety of theatre spaces on our doorstep in East Devon.
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The Northcott in Exeter have released a varied programme over the summer- my particular highlight being The Play That Goes Wrong which has been on my ‘to be watched’ list for a good few years.
The Manor Theatre in Sidmouth are staging their Paul Taylor-Mills Summer Play Season again this year.
This run of six varied plays from murder-mystery to rom-com promise a summer of great performance in a lovely little theatre space.
Further afield in Plymouth, comedy troupe Le Navet Bete (who I’ve raved about before in these pages) have planned a summer of different performances – speaking from experience they will all be hilarious.
Take your pick from The Three Musketeers, 400: A Comedy or Treasure Island and Theatre Royal Plymouth have lined up a summer of musicals for those who love a tune- including Hairspray, Grease and Blood Brothers.
However, the piece of theatre I have already booked and am most looking forward to, is taking the magic to another level.
I’m not talking about fancy effects or smoke and mirrors, I’m talking about theatre that crosses the divide between actor and audience.
Exeter based troupe Burn The Curtain make theatre outdoors believing- ‘ any place can be magical, and that any one of us can create magical moments.’
Their latest work called Wondrous Ramblings takes place in three parks in Exeter over weekends in May and is described as a creative mystery walk.
The events are guaranteed to be Covid safe and can be booked via the company’s website: www.burnthecurtain.co.uk for the nominal amount of £5 per family group; the work is part of a bigger project called The Imaginarium of Us, set to take place later in the summer.
I don’t know where we’ll be walking or what we’ll be asked to do but I do know we’ll come away inspired.
Maybe, just maybe, the performance will lift us out of the reality of 2021 even if just for a short while, because actually, who doesn’t want to believe in magic.