On November 13, the RSC follows The National Theatre and The Globe in transmitting a live performance to cinemas, in this case David Tennant in Richard II. Does it save us going to the theatre?
Personally I think nothing can replace the sense of being in the presence of something happening. The crowds that camped out to see the last royal wedding would think you’d missed the point if you suggested the view was better on telly. And just as well. the audience are part of the occasion. Without them, it is diminished.
I’ll still be booking for Richard II. Stratford is not convenient and seats are likely to be hard to come by. So three cheers for an initiative that enables more people to see great acting in great plays.
And it is live, with all the danger that implies. If anything goes wrong (an actor forgetting lines, getting the giggles or having their wig caught by a protruding nail – all of which I’ve seen) there’s no cutting room floor to hide it.
But keep going to the theatre. You, the live audience, is part of its magic.