Last Thursday was a big day in the cinemas. No, not that Star Wars nonsense… a Live Stream event of No Man’s Land by Harold Pinter. Starting Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. Now my other half loves those guys and as soon as he saw it was in I knew we would be going to see it.
I’ve only even been to one Live Stream event before and that was actually a book reading by Stephen Fry. So I haven’t actually experience the whole live theatre production in a cinema thing up until this point. I’ve been to see plenty of shows in my time but never a Harold Pinter play either.
As it turns out I’m still not sure. I definitely laughed so that’s a good sign. But it very much dove and in and there wasn’t any back story or context to help the audience make sense of what was going on. That leg work was left entirely to the viewer. As far as I could tell there’s an elderly gentleman living with his son and butler/bouncer who has dementia. He brings a bloke home from the pub who I’m still not sure if he actually knows (and kept forgetting) or if it was just some nice bloke he met. I just don’t know.
The whole thing was staged in the one room, at some point the bloke from the pub was locked in it over night and then served breakfast. It was all a bit odd. The swearing went all the way to the extreme end so if you don’t like that sort thing then this probably isn’t the show for you.
What I really liked though was that they did a live Q&A afterwards with the actors and the director. This was very interesting and helped me to make some sort of sense of what had been going on. I think this sort of thing would be great at the end of all the a lot of shows. I find that sort of thing interesting. Little comments about why they chose to do certain stuff or why they wore certain things. Interesting.
I would definitely go to more Live Stream Theatre events. It was so much easier and cheaper to pop to the local cinema (even though it was more than a normal ticket) than to get the train down to London, get tickets there, have to buy food and stop over in a hotel. Much more accessible and although not the same, it was a pretty good alternative.
I would definitely recommend it as an experience and will be looking out for more shows next year!