I was lucky enough to score 2 tickets to an opening of a play tonight – that of Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Reasons to be Pretty (here in Sydney, for those of you global folks). The actors were entertaining, all content was relatable, and there seemed to be an organic flow of dialogue complementing often argumentative and explosive outbursts.
I walked away under-nourished, however. Far from prodding my sponge-like brain to soak up splashes of rationed out reason, the content was more pop-culture comedy that denied digging deeper. With a title that suggests, it denied what it promised.
To see two people yelling and repeating the same invectives like “fuck” and “shit” one can just walk just down the road to Kings Cross, where repugnant verbal banter is unfortunate and rampant. If the play was written as a greater statement about the folly of “fuck” transcending all language barriers as a universally over-used term losing its meaning, the idea of watching talented actors sculpt commonplace characters would be much more interesting – albeit somewhat of a sobering test in theatre.
I’d be interested to know if other people experiencing theatre around the world are finding the same. Is the devaluation of our English lexicon (or indeed, any language) through media-perpetuated apathy undermined further by theatre that seeks to connect through colloquialism alone? Have the days of the genius playwright all but turned, or will writers sick of pop playwrights rise up, write more, and right decayed dry dialogue?
Please, chime in.