I never imagined I ‘d be writing a third blog post about Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man. After all, I regularly fail to write about theatre productions I have seen, such is the nature of blogging in a non professional capacity. But the response to my review of The Drowned Man, with a wide range of fascinating and articulate comments, made me think:
1) The Drowned Man feels like the stadium tour of an indie band. A new audience tries to discover what’s all about and some problems relate to scale: huge space, many people, that indie feeling is not there any more.
2) Punchdrunk has a huge fanbase I knew nothing about. Are their productions better appreciated by fans? Some art is better understood when you already know it’s a vital part of your life: subtleties open up, outsiders are baffled (and often amused, think of sc-ifi geekery and you get the picture). Does Punchdrunk fall into that category?
3) Following from the point above, some of the discussion centered around the audience’s contribution and commitment to the production, a “you get out what you put in” approach. While this is true for all theatre (all art for that matter), are healthy scepticism and an expectation to be won over counter productive when it comes to Punchdrunk? Like missing the train early on and never being able to catch up. And if that’s the case, what’s the purpose of criticism?
4) If you push the audience’s contribution to its logical conclusion, could you have a production where the audience performs and the actors watch? And in that case, who takes artistic responsibility?
5) How come there are no press reviews yet? As far as I know, press night was a couple of weeks ago. And why is it so hard to find a cast list?
Answers in a post card, or even better at the comments section below.