Saturday, 22 October 2016
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Okay, this is going to be a bit of a rant but ti is something that increasingly annoys me:
Over recent years a number of touring production have advertised that they are commencing a 'UK tour' when, in reality, the said tour is touring only one constituent country of the UK (usually just England) or - perhaps even worse - a small part of one constituent country.
Now, in my eyes, when you hear someone say 'UK' you think of Great Britain and Northern Ireland i.e. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales - the four nations that make up the United Kingdom. Even if you say 'Britain' or 'British tour' then one would normally think of the four nations.
Yes, there are those less intellectually inclined who think the 'UK' of 'Britain' constitutes little more than England (and vise-versa - there are those who say 'England' when, in reality, they mean the United Kingdom) but when it comes to business - even the one called 'show' - one would assume a professional attitude would be assumed and that accuracy would be paramount.
So it is with increasing irritation that I come across a production which peaks my interest and lures me in with the notion that they are touring the UK - i.e. the four nations - lulling me into thinking that, even if they're not coming to my city (I am fortunate to make my home in the largest city in Scotland), they will be touring somewhere near me, at least somewhere in the country in which I call home (in this case Scotland). But, when one looks at the actual dates and venues of the said tour, it turns out that rather than visiting all four nations the production is only visiting one or two. It's bad enough when an announced 'UK' tour omits only Northern Ireland but when a production is only touring one country then I feel duped. Surely using the term 'UK tour' is false advertising when it not a tour of all four countries?
There have been occasions when a proposed 'UK' tour advises that 'further dates are to be announced' when, initially, one or two countries are omitted and this is later rectified when additional dates are added. But this is not always the case and one or two countries never receive the tour and I have contacted productions previously over this.
To me, if a production and its producer knows that the tour is only touring particular countries then it should be advertised as so (what's wrong with being honest and advertising as an 'England tour', 'Regional tour' or 'Welsh tour' etc.?).
The reason I bring this up is because the response I received from the Twitter account of the current production of 'The Boys in the Band' when I brought this notion up seemed to be rather flippant in my eyes. The full conversation (so far) follows:
Touring productions are important to me because theatre (art in general) is vital to society and the more variety there is available to people around the nations, the better. It isn't always easy leaving your local area to go and see a production that interests you; there are the cost implications, the time factors, not to mention that, for some people, their health prevents them from making the necessary journeys. So, bringing a production to a wide audience is always a plus.
Just labeling a production correctly will ease the irritation I feel. Sure, I'd be a bit annoyed if a production wasn't coming anywhere near me, but if it's advertised as an 'English tour' (or such) then I wouldn't be so annoyed as when I look into the venues for a 'UK' tour to find it is, in fact, only touring England.
I know I go on a bit, and I really don't like to rant, but sometimes it's good to vent.
Enjoy your days and enjoy the theatre that's available to you!