Why do people choose to act? Is it for fame, the need to communicate to people or simply a form of escapism? Leonardo di Caprio told the Mirror, “I get to … flush out a lot of demons through my filmmaking experiences – I’ve gotten to play some pretty intense characters lately and, you know, I actually think it’s therapeutic in a way for me”. Whatever the reason, an actor needs an audience – there’s simply no point pouring out your emotions to a blank sea of faces, or worse, an empty theatre!
There are good and not so good audiences and they can make a real difference to the theatrical experience. The actors who perform for our Lates or Christmas party events always seem to love doing these shows. One recently said; “It’s amazing to see guests enjoying the ‘cheeky edge’ of the shows, and even more fun as an actor, to be able to push the boundaries in my performances a tad further than the daytime shows, for the guests to enjoy.” With an over 18’s audience, actors certainly can be a little more risqué. For instance, in Shrek’s Adventure! London a ‘volunteer’ from the crowd has to search for a clue in an outdoor toilet. Cue toilet humour sound effects and more ribald jokes about what is going on inside! Who doesn’t love it when the improvisation gets a little more edgy – these are the ‘over the watercooler stories’ that will be re-visited the next day at work. In the courtroom in London Dungeon the judge sentences members of the audience for various humorous crimes. These range from dancing naked in public to being from a particular suburb. As one of our actors said “Creating memorable experiences for the adult guests is something that I always personally remember after an event myself, and I often go home and tell anecdotes to my friends about ‘this lady that screamed/giggled to the extreme’!”
As Katherine Hepburn once said “If you give audiences half a chance they’ll do half your work for you”. If events audiences are generally more enthusiastic that means actors having more fun so in turn they create a more memorable and unique event. Why don’t you come to a Merlin Lates or Christmas party to see this in action? As Oscar Wilde said “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Let the sharing begin!