Monday, 18 May 2015

Why this blog is here

Hello Internet. My name's William, I'm in my mid sixties and hail from the windswept land of Cumbria.

I'm also, much to my surprise, apparently a serial theatre reviewer.

I love the theatre. Always have done. One of my earliest memories as a child is my parents taking me to see our local amateur group perform a production of a musical, and it's fair to say I've been hooked ever since.

I call myself an enthusiastic amateur not because I've ever dared 'tread the boards' myself, but because I've always been surrounded by am-dram. I'm lucky enough to live in a part of the world where there is a keen theatrical vein and I always support it in the best way I know how - By turning up to watch.

More recently, since I hit my 60's, I've been keeping a diary. Apparently it's good for the grey cells. I've yet to see any improvement in my ability to solve crosswords, but I find it quite therapeutic all the same. What I'd also started doing, quite without realising it, is writing reviews of every show I went to see. Not with the intention for anybody to ever read them, just for my own satisfaction.

Jump forward a few years and a delightfully nosey daughter is caught reading my diary and laughing heartily. When I query what part of my general bemoaning all that is life has caused her such amusement she shows me the page. One of my reviews.

"Dad," she says, "You've got to let people read these. They're brilliant!"

Now, I'm no fool. I know she was probably sucking up to me because I caught her red handed. But the idea was now in my head.

The following week I was discussing this breach of privacy with a friend. Much to my surprise, he suggested the very same thing.

"Amateurs get so little feedback other than from the people they know. I'm sure they'd love to read a genuine, amusing and insightful critique of their work."

He'd know. He's an am-dram performer himself. He'll also remain nameless as, much to his surprise, he'll actually turn up in some reviews!

And so, here I am. My plan is to transcribe old reviews as and when I can be bothered - I have at least 5 years worth of shows in my diaries to get through so I can't promise a schedule - but, unless a new whim overtakes me sometime in the future my aim is certainly to get through them all. Meanwhile I'll also now post any new shows I see straight on here, rather than writing them out longhand first only to transcribe later. That's the plan. We'll see if I stick to it.

I'll post my first review soon. If anyone is actually reading this, please let me know. I'm used to my words not being read, but it'll be interesting to see if anyone genuinely grasps the opportunity!

An Enthusiastic Amateur.

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