September 11, 2006


E2P…that’s Easy To Please.

I have been having this problem with many audiences which I form a part of, recently. Take Ranga Shankara. Even if it is a serious play, or a foul play, the audience is so determined to be amused and entertained that the limpest of jokes will elicit a titter and sometimes a laugh. They are in a theatre, there’s the art and culture in front of them, so they must be a great audience and the show must be good, and it must be encouraged and applauded…often inappropriately.

At a music performance, too, they are so keen on proving themselves a receptive audience that they prove themselves an ignorant one. Never mind the content of a classical concert, as long as there is speed and high-jinks, they applaud…sometimes in the middle of the build-up. In this they spoil their own fun, as the build-up to the grand crescendo gets marred.

It’s worst when a section of the audience is known/related to one of the performers. Then, no matter how bad it may be, there are hearty plaudits, cheers, whistles…and the rest of us cringe in our seats and wonder why we came….

And very often, performers take advantage of this indulgence on the part of the audience to turn in lacklustre performances, and get away with it, or use the concert platform to showcase family members whom they want to promote….

I usually enjoy the performing arts, but there are times when art is spelt with a capital F….