“The reason we’re not attracting the sort of audience you want is because of all your stupid posts about art,” said Joe, our music and entertainment director. I have to admit to internal conflict regarding the arts. On the one hand, our tagline is ‘Entertainment not Art’, but on the other, I confess to a sneaking appreciation for expressive dance, performance art and the like.
“Reality Theatre is anti-theatre!” I’m often heard to cry, in the style of the Dada-ists, mimicking their “Dada is anti-Dada!”, an irony so beautiful it makes me almost pee myself (brief art history lesson: Dada was an arts movement that began as a reaction to first World War, protesting against nationalism, materialism, bourgeois culture and the traditional arts – they were ‘non-artists’, whose movement fell apart when they started to become successful, similar to the notion of ‘Punk is Dead‘).
Dada is anti-dada!
So what’s so anti-theatre about us? I guess it’s our audiences, our content, our approach and our attitude. Our primary aims, after all, are social not necessarily artistic. I see a Reality Theatre play like an episode of ‘East Enders’, but with more bad language, and instead of watching from a safe distance, the audience is immersed as the drama unfolds around them, never knowing if a character is going to turn on them. It’s like real life, but without the nice bits.
Whenever possible, we throw music in, either as a sound track, or as part of the entertainment package, with live bands playing after the play. Why music? We consider music to be the most popular form of creative expression today. Our preferred genre is punk and hard-core, with both having a history of being anti-establishment. Like us. Reality Theatre is a social interventionist company that aims to bring about social change through the medium of theatre, drama and music.
It’s not art, it’s real life.