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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mr Write - Palace Theatre - Kilmarnock - 11/05/12

Imagine the concept.
A guy turns up in town and takes to the stage.
He has no script, no story.
Instead all he has is an audience.
From that audience he takes a child and begins to question him, or her.
The answers, and snippets of the answers, are written on the backdrop of the stage.
The audience are then asked a few questions and their answers join the ones already starting to fill the backdrop.
Then the audience are invited to ask the child some questions, and the answers are once again added to the wall of random text.
It all seems a bit anarchic doesn't it.
Yet from the chaos Rob Drummond aka Mr Write works his magic and before our very eyes uses the words and phrases to spin a story.
That's it.
First half of the show is where he engages with an audience of often unruly and naturally excitable kids, and in the second half he uses all that they have given him to write an interactive story.
How fantastic is that.
It's all the more impressive as the story that he drags from the phrases is a simplistic one of how we all share fears, and that nothing is an insurmountable problem if we are brave enough to face them.
Especially if we are supported in doing so.
It's a nice message and put across without insulting the intelligence of the young audience.

I would consider that most parents whose kids are aged upwards of twelve years old would have thought it a well spent fiver if they had dragged their offspring along.
The bonus to it all is that I also suspect that their kids would have loved it after initially turning their nose up at a weekend trip to the dreaded theatre.

Sadly it would appear that for all the effort that Rob Drummond is putting in to engage with his audience, it isn't being returned by the wider Ayrshire public, and once again Kilmarnock gets nul points in its efforts towards encouraging our kids to be a little more culturally aware of what the world of entertainment can offer them.
While there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with the younger generations love of games consoles, it is really up to us to show them that thought provoking and fun entertainment can be found elsewhere to.
JFK said that 'if art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him' and while I agree, I would add that society also has to support the artists endeavours to enrich us all by offering them our patronage.
I could make some reference to a few reasons as to why I think that 'Mr Write' fell short of the attendance levels that it deserved, but my views covering the ongoing decline of my home towns interest in the arts in all there wondrous forms has been done to death.
Some people agree with me, many don't.
The only thing I can say is that once again if we don't use it we lose it, and I think Kilmarnock needs people like Rob Drummond coming through and adding a bit of light to the encroaching darkness.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing such an interesting blog post. We're glad that you enjoyed the production. Your thoughts on young people in the arts really ignite conversation. For our part we'll continue working to make even more great theatre accessible to and enjoyable for everyone in Scotland.