Why You Should Visit the Theatre on Your Travels

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The world is a big and exciting place, and there’s more to see and do than can ever be seen or done in a lifetime. There are ancient cities, lost and abandoned in the jungle, to explore Indiana Jones style, there are mountains the climb, and rapids to practice white water rafting on.

In fact, there is so much to do that even the act of sitting down and trying to plan out how to spend a day abroad while travelling can be absolutely dizzying.

One solution that people turn to sometimes is to do “themed holidays”, revolving around one particular activity primarily. People may do sailing trips, or walking holidays, for example, or may visit a city for the sole purpose of visiting the different cafes and restaurants found there.

Another solution is, of course, to decide on a destination that has particular allure or significance for you, and seems to have a good range of potential activities that you could find enriching, and then to plan out the specific points you’d like to achieve on your trip and form them into a kind of checklist or itinerary.

However you’d like to structure your travels, there’s one thing you should absolutely try and do at some point when on the road — especially if you find yourself in a city like New York or London — and that is, visit the theatre.

Whether you’re interested in seeing Kinky Boots, Wicked, or an authentic performance of a Shakespearean classic, here are some reasons you should really consider a theatre trip in the near future.

It’s great fun

One of the first reasons you should go to the theatre is that, like reading a fine novel, or watching a blockbuster film, seeing a good play being enacted on stage is just really fun.

The writing in successful plays is often excellent, and typically more nuanced and artful than the writing you’re likely to come across on a daytime sitcom or soap opera.

The plots can be deep and immersive, the characters multifaceted and emotionally resonant, and you can easily find yourself gripping the edge of your seat in anticipation of what’s going to come next.

People are sometimes put off the idea of visiting the theatre, because they believe that it’s going to be dull, old-fashioned, or otherwise boring. If you enjoy a great story, however, rest assured that you’ll be able to find something that appeals specifically to you in the playhouses you’re likely to encounter on your travels, whether that be comedy, horror, or even action.

The theatre feels a lot more real and present than film 

When you watch a film, either in the cinema or at home on TV, you’re getting a very curated experience. Of course, this is true with other media such as books and plays as well, but with film and TV, things are especially “artificial”.

In a good book, your imagination can construct the world as you see it represented. When watching a play, you can see the whole stage and the actors at once.

A film gives you a particular camera-eye perspective on the action. It will zoom in and out, shape, and exclude particular elements as the director decides. Furthermore, you get a clear sense that the thing you’re watching was performed and recorded in a different place, at a different time, and is totally static and non-interactive.

Visiting the theatre and watching a play is an experience that feels a lot more real and present — probably because it is.

When you’re watching a play, the actors are in the same room as you. They are acting in real-time. They may even interact with the audience. There is no pause or rewind button, so you’d better pay attention. And you have a normal human visual perspective on things. No weird camera tricks.

The theatre is a cultural institution, and by attending plays, you support it 

This point may be more or less important to you depending on your priorities and sensibilities, but if you enjoy film and TV shows, it’s worth bearing in mind that are both forms of entertainment that evolved from theatre.

The theatre isn’t just an idle form of entertainment; it’s a cultural institution in its various guises, all around the globe, from the comedies and tragedies of Ancient Greece, to the works of Shakespeare, to the Kabuki theatre of Japan, to modern classics like The Phantom of the Opera.

When you visit the theatre, you contribute to supporting a cultural institution with deep roots, which has inspired and entertained generations. That’s got to be worth something.

 

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Mark Miller on a Scottish bridge

Extreme travel is the name of my game and I love to get that adrenaline pumping. Blogging and blagging my way across the world one country at a time... come join me!

Arts and Culture, Traveling