It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone. The phrase itself is self explanatory. It’s comfy. It’s familiar. It’s safe. But that can also lead to it being boring.
Earlier this week I went to the theatre. This in itself isn’t that unusual for me. I don’t go as often as I’d like but I do enjoy a show. What was different is that we went to see something without really bothering to find out what it was. It just happened to be what was showing the day we wanted to go.
It was excellent! An anarchic, beautiful, mad, crime-doesn’t-pay, political, don’t-judge-those-different-from-you musical called Three Penny Opera which was all kicked of with an amazing rendition of Mack The Knife. If you want to know more about it, watch this:
I don’t know what I was was expecting but it wasn’t that.
It started before it had even started, with the cast milling out onto the stage, chatting with the audience, introducing each other, explaining how the whole thing was going to work. In character of course. There was a petition going round the audience. One woman has spent her day doing mainly medium level anarchy. There were cheers and chants and live music.
Someone else who hadn’t bothered to find out what the show was, was the couple sitting next to me. I don’t wish to stereotype but in order to paint the scene they were a slightly older couple, smartly dressed and rather well spoken indeed.
Within 2 minutes of sitting down (the play hasn’t started at this point but the preshow interaction is well underway) the woman announced ‘I don’t think this is the sort of this I am going to enjoy’. She wasn’t going into this with a positive attitude from the start.
About 3/4 of the way through she was trying to see her watch.
At the interval, they got their coats and left. They didn’t come back.
I was appalled. How rude! How narrow minded! How rich are they to not feel the need to stick out a show they’ve paid good money for?
Okay, that last point might just be my being a bit skint. I know how much their tickets must’ve cost because they were right next to ours. And I would’ve stuck it out just for the for fact that I’d paid.
But really, it probably wasn’t what they were expecting. I know it wasn’t what they were expecting because before it started she said so. She thought they were coming to the original German Opera that this show was adapted from.
So yes, German Opera vs Jazzy Punk Musical aren’t really the same thing. But does that really mean you should just abandon one because it’s not what you were expecting?
The more I think about this the more I confuse myself.
My gut reaction was that they were narrow-minded. That they should’ve stuck it out. The second half was better than the first because there was a problem with the projection system in the first half. The second half had subtitles and videos. Also, during the second half we were now getting into the meaty part of the story. They missed out.
But… They weren’t enjoying it, and why waste your time doing something you don’t enjoy. Especially if you can make that choice. We all have to do lots of things we don’t enjoy. Getting up in the dark in winter, bleeding radiators, speaking to rude people on the phone at work but they have to be done. You do them because you have to, not because you enjoy them.
But what were they going to do instead? Go home and have a cocoa? They can do that any day.
I told this story to a colleague the next day who couldn’t understand it. Her theory was that it was one evening out of their lives. It wasn’t like it would’ve been the end of the world to stay and see it through.
The person I went to the show with, took a somewhat harsher view and decided that they had gone home to their separate bedrooms to either listen to The Archers or surf the less savoury part of the internet.
The only thing I am sure of, is that I wish I had realised they weren’t coming back sooner so we could’ve taken their (dead centre of the row) seats!