I was thinking about Sunday night’s Stinxville, which went very well despite lots of new technical challenges, and trying to decide why I enjoy it so much, when I am not someone who automatically loves all forms of audience-participation. Then I started watching a TV programme in which someone used the phrase “active, not passive” and I realised that this sums up what I want to do in my work. I don’t want a passive audience. That doesn’t mean they can’t relax and enjoy some good old-fashioned escapism, but I want them to engage with the piece as much as possible. On Sunday night the audience just automatically started waltzing when we sang Its A Wicked City, and it was rather wonderful! It felt as if they had completely understood the show, and there was no prompting or persuasion required. Its about an unintimidating and truly joyous communication, that allows those watching to feel they can step over the traditional boundary and straight through the fourth wall. Of course, with Stinxville there isn’t a fourth wall, and at times the audience even becomes the set, but still, that impromptu waltz was a joy!
Active, not passive.