I was much entertained by the ridiculous quote that seemed to headline the press coverage of the recent Manchester Il Tempo de Postino theatre performance, it runs;
ĎIt is like being on an aeroplane in 1978, the whole audience is watching the same screení
I canít really imagine what happened here, did the editor think wow Phillipe has said something really stupid lets put it on the cover.
It is kind of possible to make this into an interesting statement, leaving aside the obvious response that surely itís more like being in a theatre, etc - this fracturing of the audience is not such a common place thing as yet. I did see a news piece on home entertainment the other day which showed a family sitting room, full of kids, each of them was watching or using a separate piece of equipment , their wide screen TV was split into 4 parts and each viewer watched a separate entertainment. So I guess the procienium arch is not really so reflective of a contemporary consumption of culture, thatís not to say contrary to Ill Tempoís notion that itís not still the primary form of entertainment and you donít need to go back in time and 30,000 feet up to experience this Ďweirdí phenomena ie all watching one thing. The other slightly incomprehensible cross reference re the title of the Ill Tempo thing, is this idea of the time of the post, an idea of expectation that seems to hark back to an old age where the arrival of the post was an event to savour, does anyone do that now? I thought postmen were just a bad tempered and sporadic supplier of junk mail and rubber bands.

This valuing of the live experience (theatre) has always seemed odd to me, I would far rather hear or see a recorded/presented version everytime, live is normally uncomfortable and often painful and that covers everything from sex to sking. There is I think an idea about authenticity and the historical precedent that we havenít entirely shaken - where you did have to see the Ďliveí version, the only other option being a ham fisted wood block print of it. Maybe I need to start to value the discomfort and pain of live experience as the product.

Which brings me to my most recent live experience where 10,000 people miraculously looked at the same thing (like being in a submarine in October 1944) and collectively found that it was good, sadly for me I was not one of those 10,000 Maniacs.

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