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It’s showtime: escape the ‘reality’ of Facebook

The message posted on Facebook puzzled me. Not because of its content but by reason of its timing.

Like so many of the incessant postings on Facebook it was mundane and non-urgent.

But it landed at a time when I understood its sender was intending to be at the theatre.

Then it dawned; I saw the light – it was interval time. And what does one do in the interval these days? You whip out your phone, see who has posted since the curtain went up and do a bit of posting of your own. Or you take selfies of you and yours sitting in your seats.

Why?

How can anyone simply shut off so completely the moment the curtain falls for interval? And again, after the final denouement, when all the chatter in the lobby concerns where the car is parked or the time of the next bus/train/tram home.

Doesn’t anyone sit and contemplate what they have seen; mull over the plot, the performance, the script, the production and so on?

Theatre – and that runs the gamut from taut avant-garde plays to Lloyd-Webber musicals – is an immersive experience. It is an escape from reality; a release from the humdrum; it is a stimulus for thoughts and ideas. But it seems no one escapes any more; they remain in the here and now throughout the show and cannot wait to check on the most recent posts and tweets and texts.

So sad – and so very unrewarding for all those who sweat blood, tears and toil to create, produce and perform these “transports of delight.”

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