i've just come back from seeing howie le rookie at studio 16. did i enjoy it? well, it was definately different. it's an irish play translated into french, if i understand the press correctly. it was definately a new experience watching a play, while reading subtitles. i've done it for the opera, and movies of course, but never live theatre. i had problems with the subtitles for a number of reasons.
1. why does it seem like subtitles are never proof read? this bothers me to no end. and it especially bothered me tonight because if this is an irish play, wasn't it written in english to begin with? so why did they not make sense in so many parts? couldn't they just put the original dialogue up? i guess, it could have been written in gaelic. but then, i would assume that at some point it was translated to english.
i'm going to go back to my subtitles issues in a minute. i'm going to deal with why i chose that title for my post. we enter the theatre and studio 16 is really, really small. and it is incredibly smoky. so smoky, that i feel that i can not see the stage clearly. the usher is asking everyone in french, if they speak english, and if so, is directing them to sit in seats marked 's'. for subtitles. these are the seats that offer the best view of the subtitling screen. which i thought was pretty cool.
anyways, we are waiting for the show to start and i'm starting to cough because of the vasts of fog in the room. and it smells. musty like. the show starts. it's basically a monologue in two acts by two different actors. so, it's extremely wordy. so i'm frantically trying to read the subtitles, while trying to focus on the actual acting. it's so foggy, i can't always read the subtitles, plus add in the typos and the fact that it does not seem like the subtitle screens are moving as fast as the actors are speaking. all of this leads to a feeling of general confusion on my part. the worst part was the smoke really affected my eyes and i kept rubbing them, missing even more subtitles. making me feel even more confused.
by the end of the play, all i could think about was how much i wanted out of that room. my eyes were itchy and watery, my head hurt, my stomach was queasy and i was trying not to cough. i was so happy to get out of that room. i couldn't wait to leave. i even skipped out on the free food and booze that was on offer after the play.
i think i would really like to see this play again, but in english so that i could really appreciate it. or at least in a theatre that does not have a fog machine. i do have to say that the stage design was pretty cool. i guess i would call it industrial derelict.
blech. i can still smell the smoke.
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