One of my favourite themes. Aren’t the quiet bits the best? I’m working on the thesis that the loud bits are only there to help you distinguish between different types of quiet. It can’t be just me who tires quickly from loud bits – shouting, ranting, violence, etc. The shorter and tighter the better, surely – make your point and get out sharpish. Perhaps its because the loud bits stay on the same tone. The quietnesses, on the other hand – tension, longing, fear, anxiety, concern – are blessed with ambiguity (thus, muttering or sobbing might count as a loud bit even if they’re not technically noisy). I suppose that’s why I find them more involving. They need to be modulated too – a quiet one-note performance is just as boring. It may be an over-reaction to a dislike of hectoring. I’m very much opposed to the arrogant and the overconfident – the ‘listen to me’ school of work. For me, the place of the actors, writer, director, and all of the team is ‘look at this’: in alliance with the audience, not in opposition to them. It’s our job to invite the audience to look past us, at the material, the story, the extraordinary ironies or tragedies of our show. In that sense, the quiet bits offer the audience more opportunity to reflect on things, to create a mental response and examine their emotional one.
But silence, on stage, well-performed; the potential for a massive range of action – how thrilling.