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World Theatre Day 2021

Theatre is a special medium. The relationship between the audience and the performance is a powerful one, connecting people to ideas and vice-versa and for World Theatre Day 2021, one of our Marketing Officers takes the time to reflect on the poignancy of theatre.

Theatre plays a very important role in exploring, entertaining and questioning the world in which we live. In the era of Covid-19, theatre has experienced its own challenges but we mustn’t forget the role it plays and will continue to play in the post-pandemic world. I wanted to take this opportunity for World Theatre Day to reflect on some of the shows that have visited the Corn Exchange that demonstrate the collective power and beauty of theatre.

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) (2019)

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) was part musical, part stand-up comedy routine and part drama. A show that discusses mental health openly and sensitively was something wonderful to behold. The show felt more like a conversation with a friend rather than a conventional theatre performance. Its power came from the story that was told and creating a real connection between the audience and the performer. Being able to connect emotionally to a show or performance creates a bond that stays with you long after the show finishes. Theatre doesn’t hideaway from any topic, its role is multifaceted. It is not just entertaining or informative, it can and should be what we need theatre to be at any given moment.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2019)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first Corn Exchange Youth Theatre production on the main stage and it was wonderful to see so many youth theatre participants together. Theatre can give you confidence, leadership and teamwork and many more skills for work that you may not realise at the time. Joining a youth theatre can unlock skills within you that can have a transformative effect on your life. I speak with personal experience of how a youth theatre can help give you confidence and help develop skills for later life. When watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe it was a very proud moment for everyone connected with the Corn Exchange to showcase the incredible skill, dedication and enjoyment held by all the youth theatre participants.

Bouncers (2019)

Bouncers by John Godber was a play I have always wanted to see. It's the story of a group of bouncers who recall tales, anecdotes and stories of working in a busy nightclub. It has been re-adapted and re-told in many adaptations. It shows the flexibility of theatre to adapt to different generations and convey its stories to a modern audience.

No Kids (2019) & Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ (2020)

Theatre at its core is about stories and storytelling. It has the power to entertain, inform and educate. Ad Infinitum have demonstrated this keenly with two of their productions, No Kids and Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ - the former an exploration about creating a family and the latter a story of about being D/deaf in Britain. The feelings explored in both of these shows are unlike anything I’ve experienced in a theatre before, truly humbling and inspiring stories which have stayed with me .

Dead Good (2020)

This show has extra poignancy as it was the last show I saw at the Corn Exchange before the first national lockdown that was announced in March 2020. At the time we didn’t know that this was going to be the final show for sometime. The show itself is an exploration of death and savouring every experience before it's too late. It was a joyous and uplifting tale and sensitively looked at a topic which can illicit feelings of pain.

During Covid-19 the fundamentals of the theatre going experience have been altered. New ideas of performance utilising technology have been pioneered but the core of theatre remains which is storytelling. Theatre can be transformational, informative and entertaining and it’s all of these components which make theatre so special.

Marcus, Marketing Officer

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