Before the show.
I’m going to see this show because my friend Franco has something to do with it! I think he’s the assistant stage manager, but I’m honestly not 100% sure. I do, however, trust Franco and his tastes. I’ve known him since first year, and all the shows we’ve seen together, that he’s been a part of, or that he’s recommended to me have been nothing short of stellar, so I’m sure this will ring true for Blink as well.
This is also the biggest group of people I’ve gone to see a show with for quite some time now—I’m going with three or four other people, instead of alone or with just one other person. I find that it’s always much more fun to go with a bigger group of people, because to me, that adds to the theatricality of it all. Even though you’re inherently going to be part of an audience when you go to watch a show, it doesn’t truly feel like a big audience to me unless the group of people you’re going with is big too. It probably has something to do with knowing the people more personally, and being able to share the experience you had with them, instead of with just one other person. When you know more people in the audience, you have more opportunities to get different perspectives on the exact same event because you were all present for that one live show on that one evening in time. Even though you might see the same live show on a different day, the show will be different because of its live nature, but being able to share the experience of that one unique event in time? Priceless. That’s probably why I enjoy going with more people. (Well, assuming all these people are pleasant show-goers.)
This will also be my first time going to the Gladstone theatre! I love visiting new theatres. I love seeing the way their front of house looks, how the architecture leads people around, how the walls are in the theatre and the way those walls foster the acoustics, how high the ceilings are and how plush the seats will be. There is no standardized theatre, and every theatre I’ve ever been to is slightly different, so I can’t wait to see how the Gladstone will be.
Those are the things I’m looking forward to, because I actually have no idea what this show is about. The ad is bright blue and red and has a person with a television for a head on it, but I don’t even really remember what the ad says, so I’m hoping it’s a cheerful and funny show based on the colours of this ad alone.
I like being surprised by storylines and characters anyways—I find it draws me in more when I have no idea what to expect or what’s about to happen. It makes the whole thing much more enjoyable.
Anyways, I can’t wait to see the Gladstone theatre, and I can’t wait to watch a show with my friends! I have faith that it will be good.
After the show.
The Gladstone was really cute! It’s a very small building, but I enjoyed the feel of it—the little tables with candles, the fact that you could bring drinks inside, the friendly and free coat check. It was quaint.
The show itself was interesting to me because it confronts you with a different kind of modern relationship than what you would expect to be faced with as you come into a theatre to watch a play.
The two main characters are named Jonah and Sophie. Sophie has linked a camera that is recording her apartment to a tablet that she sends to Jonah, but they don’t know each other in person, and Jonah doesn’t know that Sophie is aware she’s being recorded through a camera. Eventually they meet in person and try to make their relationship work, but in the end, decide that their relationship worked better when Sophie was being watched by the camera and Jonah was watching her through the tablet. There might be some other viewpoints, but what I understood about these characters after the course of the play, plainly stated, is this: Jonah is into voyeurism, and Sophie is probably into some sort of clothed exhibitionism (although who knows, she might have stripped in front of the camera at some point in time; it’s never mentioned, but I could see it probably happening).
Why I called it a modern relationship is because it portrays a romantic relationship in which the characters have certain kinks, and after trying things out and discussing it, they decide what the best course of action for their relationship will be, together. The entire show is played off like an adorable meet-cute, with a funny, fast-paced script, quirky characters, and bright colours, but the subject matter could be seen as creepy, if the characters themselves weren’t mutually consenting in their relationship.
Sophie sends Jonah a tablet with a live feed of her apartment. Jonah likes observing so he liked watching her, but I feel like if he wasn’t into that, receiving that tablet would be akin to some sort of PG-rated version of receiving an anonymous dick pic—unwelcome, and kind of creepy. Jonah himself delves into stalking for a little bit when he realizes who Sophie is and where he can find her, and Sophie is aware that he’s stalking her and lets him continue because she likes being observed. If she wasn’t into that, she would have probably called the cops, as another character did when Jonah ended up stalking them for a little bit as well. (Although to be fair, if she wasn’t into that, she probably wouldn’t have even done something like send him the tablet in the first place, and thus wouldn’t have been stalked.) Again, the stalking would have been unwelcome, and definitely creepy, had it not been for the fact that Sophie liked to be stalked (by someone she knew was harmless, anyhow).
Anyways, after watching this, I didn’t know how to feel. My thoughts were that, as long as they’re both consenting, then their relationship was kind of cute—people are into what they’re into, and I’m glad they found someone able to give the other what they wanted in a relationship. Kink-shaming isn’t cool, you know, that sort of stuff. I wasn’t sure, however, how the other people in the audience would feel or what they would be saying coming out of it.
Most people seemed bewildered or at a loss for words, but with the general atmosphere of the show having been a good one. The friends I went with agreed with me that it was a good show, but surprisingly, the whole kink thing just… never explicitly came up. My one friend said she thought it was a really cute play, but was confused about why they went their separate ways in the end. Her boyfriend and I explained that that’s just what they liked and what they wanted from a relationship, and that was the closest it got to outright discussing things like kinks.
It makes sense when you think of the tagline: “Love is whatever you feel it to be”. No matter what they may or may not have been into, they did love each other.
It was a lot of fun going with my friends as well, because we went to grab dinner afterwards and continued to discuss the play. I was right in that going with a bigger group of friends makes it more fun for the bigger shared experience, because they pointed things out to me that I wouldn’t have noticed or ruminated on had it not be for my friends bringing it up again in discussion. For example, I didn’t notice the anachronisms until one of my friends pointed it out—the play is styled in a retro fashion with their suitcases and telephones, but then Sophie buys a small camera and a Tripod, and sends Jonah an Asus tablet—definitely not retro. It’s also fun to hear Franco’s experience of working as the assistant stage manager, and finding out how it was like behind the scenes.
I never thought I’d be talking about kinky things in a blog post that will be marked for a grade, but here we are. I bet the reason why theatre breaks more barriers and plays with more ideas is because at the end of the day, live means ephemeral. Its first runs only reach a certain number of people, whereas movies have the potential of going global very fast, without any further improvements being made. Live theatre can be workshopped, improved, revived, and toured, or it can just die and never see another audience member if it doesn’t do well, and because of this, people can play more. This is just conjecture from me, though.
I really enjoyed this class—I loved having an academic excuse to go watch live theatre, but I also can’t wait to apply what I learned in this class going forward, in all the future shows I watch, and live events I attend.
Thanks for a great course!
Hello! My name is Reine Tejares, and this is my blog for THE 2100: The Theatrical Event at the University of Ottawa.