@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
  • scissors
    November 19th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, theatre

    As many know, #LoveTheatreDay this year was run without a media partner. I knew the workload was going to be heavy but that people who love theatre would really be running the show…

    And I was right.

    Once again, the hashtag #LoveTheatreDay was world trending by 11 am and remained on the list for 5-6 hours. It stayed top trending in the UK pretty much all day.

    World Trending

    But trending does not matter to me. What does matter is people participating. And they did. From students to professionals, people were very open about sharing why they love theatre. Or Theater. (I noticed that both were being used as was #LoveTheatre #LoveTheatreDay2018 etc).

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • scissors
    November 9th, 2018mardixonCulture, theatre

    Through the Eyes of a Volunteer, Blog Part 2

    Who are a theatre’s target audience and how to attract more younger people? These were some central topics that came up on the 7th of November, at #Unconference2018.

    Regarding these matters, from a personal view, I have always considered theatre plays to be directed at a more “upper-class” audience. This is because usually, the ticket price is expensive and not very affordable to students or young people with a part-time or occasional work or to those that do not have a job at all.

    Also, another problem related to the younger generation could be represented by the idea of having to dress up smart for the occasion. Often, the stereotype of going to the Opera with a smart dress might raise uncomfortable feelings and it is something that could get people less close to a theatre environment.

    All these concerns are viewed like real barriers from different types of attendees, especially the youngest one.

    Plus, there is also the fact that some theatres often are not offering innovative programmes, or mostly, interactive plays which might stimulate the audience to a more active participation.

    Interesting were also other important aspects, approached during the #unconference2018, which was the accessibility to theatres inside big cities like London, and the majority of shows in the metropolis compared to a lack of shows in the countryside.

    Some of the main issues discussed during the day were the evolution of certain barriers or etiquettes that the theatre has developed over the time. I think that theatre has to promote itself like a more open and social space, in which to have fun, meet new people and to get a close insight. Theatre is history, culture, community and place-making, which belongs to locals and to all the people who have passion for it.

    Speaking about having fun, another interesting concept talked about was if theatre could be seen as an escapist experience or simply act to make pure critical and political remarks. In my opinion, I prefer to think that going to the theatre could be both, but not at the same time. Experiencing a show is an escapist moment in which attendees might be engaged by the environment and transported into a different place, the attendance might implies judgement about the experience.

    Interestingly, and naturally, theatre might create educative moments, in which people could develop more knowledge about their culture and heritage. Especially, this aspect could represent a great opportunity to attract people who are not really informed about the theatre or see it as a place very far from their interests.

     

    Tags:
  • scissors
    November 28th, 2017mardixonCulture, theatre

    Thank you to Sue Hillman from It’s Your London for writing this Guest Blog for our DrinksThing evening!

    DrinksThing outings are famous for being in top places combining fun networking with a great experience. I’ve been to Twitter HQ and the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy with them to give you an idea of what I mean. So when the chance to meet new folk and go to the opera came up, I jumped at the chance.

    We met in a nearby pub for a chance to chat to fellow DrinksThing folk and find out what interesting people they are with great jobs in the arts, heritage and museum world. Then we swept across to the Royal Opera House, stopping briefly to enjoy its imposing facade.

    Once in our seats in the Amphitheatre section, we settled in to enjoy a brilliant view of the stage, ceiling and orchestra for Lucia di Lammermoor.

    Donizetti’s tragic opera was given extra punch by the innovative staging but I need to make a slight digression here for those who don’t know the story (spoiler alert) and here is how this production plays it. Loosely based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott, Lucia di Lammermoor is the story of a doomed love affair between Lucia and Edgardo who is the sworn enemy of her brother Enrico. The lovers meet in secret but are discovered by Enrico who is outraged. Edgardo has gone to war but not before the lovers have pledged to marry when he returns. We see Lucia experiencing morning sickness so it seems more than letters were exchanged. Enrico arranges a marriage for Lucia to Arturo and persuades her that Edgardo has been unfaithful . Enrico claims he will be ruined and killed if she does not marry and disregards her feelings completely. She marries Arturo just as Edgardo returns and, enraged, he demands his ring back. On her wedding night Lucia kills Arturo, has a miscarriage and descends to madness, imagining she is marrying Edgardo. Edgardo decides he will die in a duel with Enrico but then learns that Lucia is dying, realises what’s happened, and kills himself to join her in heaven. Phew!

    The staging was brilliant in my view but has split opinions within the RoH going public. The opera is played out in a split screen format so we had 2 rooms, or a room and a graveyard, each taking up half of the stage with action happening simultaneously on both halves throughout This took some concentrating along with reading the very useful surtitles so no drifting off allowed For me this added a rich complexity to the storytelling and more visual entertainment but having looked at a thread about this, some found it distracting and unnecessary – go with it I say!

    The star of the show was Lisette Oropesa playing Lucia, her singing was powerful and had amazing range, especially with those really high notes. This is considered one of opera’s most challenging roles for its technical demands and emotional intensity, particularly during the descent into madness She managed to sing at full emotional power even when laying on the bed and her acting was wonderful. She brought life to every scene she was in and even when she was in the side of the split screen where the singing was not happening, I still wanted to follow what she was doing.

    So, thanks to DrinksThing for a memorable evening: drinks, great networking and world class opera in this iconic venue!

    [Edit to Add:  Huge shout out to Royal Opera House for hosting us and making opera fun!]

    Tags: , , , ,
  • scissors
    November 21st, 2017mardixonCulture, International, theatre

    First a massive thank you to Kazi Ruksana Begum from A season of Bangla Drama for hosting the first every #LoveTheatreDay Unconference!  What a day!

    Second, thank you to Zsofia Szendrei for this guest blog on the day:

    What a day of insights!

    From marketing managers, to university professors and “explainers”; from actors and directors to museum curators and museum leaders (and us, aspiring events managers); we were lucky to have a great meeting of diverse backgrounds attend #LoveTheatreDay’s #unconference at the Art Pavillion in association with  Banghra Drama.

    At the heart of it; however, we were all merely a group of theatre enthusiasts, theatre explorers and those who, just so, happened to find themselves seduced by this sector of dreamers at one point and haven’t glanced back since (Mar, I’m looking at you ;P). What brought us together was the openness to go down a path of unknown territory: asking questions that may have no answers (yet). Something perhaps as terrifying as it is thrilling.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,