Why We Go To The Theatre
Ah, we love the theatre! To say we’re a little biased is an understatement, but it’s not all unfounded vanity – we promise!
In fact, theatre has been – and continues to be – one of the most enjoyable parts of British culture. From huge West End stage productions to pantomimes and our very own Blackpool shows, there’s still a huge demand for theatre – and we’re not seeing any indication that it’s going to change anytime soon, either!
But why do we love it so much? Is it the ice cream at the interval? Is it the incredible effects that you can see right before you and still not believe your eyes?
Theatre Gives Your Heart a Workout – No, Really!
A study found that the heart rates of audience members who go to the theatre stayed on average, 28 minutes at an elevated rate of between 50% to 70% of the maximum heart rate. According to the British Heart Foundation, this is the target heart rate to ensure strength and fitness can safely be increased.
Conducted by researchers from the University College London and the University of Lancaster, commissioned by Encore Tickets, the study followed twelve people during a performance of Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre in London.
They found that their subjects heart rates mimicked “an exerting cardio workout”. Perfect for working off that interval ice cream!
Another poll conducted by the researchers of 2,000 adults concluded that the most enjoyable thing about going to a theatre show is the emotion that the production evokes, and the fact that they got goosebumps. As the action is happening directly in front of you, it’s much easier to feel a very real part of the production and story.
We think it’s high time to ditch the dumbbells and get yourself along to The Grand Blackpool for an enjoyable cardio workout!
Understanding Different Perspectives is Easier
Theatre and live-performance acting are heavily reliant on conveying thoughts, emotions and perspectives. As onlookers, the audience have the benefit of dramatic irony – that is, that we know something that the other characters on stage don’t.
From this, we’re able to see the story from multiple perspectives, something that would be difficult to follow in the movie world, especially where there are many different characters involved in one plot.
We’re able to see emotions and feelings emerging from situations which may never ever happen in our own lives, which helps us form empathy, understand motivations, and watch how conflicts transform into a resolution.
Everyone loves a good story, and theatre is essentially live storytelling. We can learn a lot about fantasy lands, glitzy characters and alike, but we can also learn more about different cultures, different ways of life and inform your own life, too.
Seeing things from another perspective helps us form new opinions and understandings, which actually helps us evolve as a person, which we think is pretty impressive.
No Two Performances are the Same
Plays and events tend to stay in the theatre between a few days to several months. Although actors usually have the same script every night, all performances are different. Between improvisation and the audience’s energy, actors deliver unique and heartfelt performances every day.
It’s this uniqueness of each performance that really draws people in; you can go and see a show one night and go back another and have a completely different experience. Whether someone forgets their line (it does happen!) and has to improvise, or the interaction from the audience is much more energetic, being a part of each performance is something that many theatre-lovers crave – and understandably so!
Casts also change from time to time in order to give the actors a break. This can also bring a whole new feeling to the production, even though the scripts, sets and costumes are all generally the same. Different actors want to bring different things to the roles they play and make them more personal to them.
Take Wicked for example; Idina Menzel is most famous for her portrayal of Elphaba in the original run of the show, and has a very distinct voice and acting style to that of the current Elphaba in the US, Jessica Vosk. Both bring something personal to the role, making it unique to them, despite playing the same character to the same script.
The Theatre is a Sociable Experience
While it’s certainly not frowned upon to head to the theatre for an enjoyable evening out on your own, there’s no denying that theatre brings people together.
The audience gathers in the theatre with one common interest – live performance. For a few hours of your day, you’ll be sat in a room full of people who are all experiencing the same performance as you, but each taking something different away from it. Despite this, you’re all there, enjoying the performance together, even if there is no verbal communication between you and the other audience members.
A poll undertaken by OnePoll found that 29% of 1,000 theatre goers were people between the ages of 18 and 24 who attended theatrical performances to socialise. Respondents also said that they buy interval drinks while at the theatre (48.2%), which could also show that more people are using the theatre as part of their social gatherings – maybe even a precursor to going out for a few drinks with friends.
So, whether you’re looking to give your heart a good workout that’s better than doing actual exercise, want to learn a little more about different people and cultures or even incorporate a show into your social life, why not take a look at what’s on at The Grand Blackpool?
If you’ve got any questions, or simply want to book tickets, give our team a call today on 01253 290190. Remember – if you’re a part of Friends of the Grand, you’re eligible for discounts, and you’ll be helping keep theatre alive, too!