According to the players, Shakespeare-in-the-park has been done so they wanted to try something different. I think they struck upon something that is wonderful – and new to me – Star Trek in the Park.
The performance itself was well conceived, showing excellent stagecraft especially with their use of the space and reuse of props. All the music and effects were performed live which added buzz to the already pumped atmosphere. A welcome surprise was the live singing of the opening credits!
The show was awesome, fuelled by the large and appreciative crowd and even Spock cracked a smile. But telling you what I did tonight is not what this post is about (that’s what my Twitter account is for).
What I wanted to talk about was a concept I’m going to call Micro-Theatre.
The concept is great, creating short-form theatre from old low-budget shows that have a large cult following! I mean people have been putting on performances of Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Blues Brothers for years but they provide a much different experience – this is much more like sitting around a camp fire telling tales.
The skill of capturing the spirit of an episode, whilst limiting the performance to only a couple of set changes provides a real technical challenge but there is a large body of work to choose from. A successful performance, like the one I saw tonight, can tap into the collective fond memories of the audience, and give us a new perspective and shared experience. The person at Paramount who approved this performance should be thanked and given a pay raise!
I don’t know if the concept has been tried before but I definitely think it bears further consideration – what other old TV shows could be thus adapted?
In my mind Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who spring to mind immediately, both have a large cult following and both are renowned for having small casts, low budgets, reusing sets and even sharing props!
How much would you pay to see an old favourite TV show given this treatment?
… and what shows would you like to see performed this way?