Just a little thought this one….
For those that don’t know, the Triple Threat refers to performers who can sing, act and dance, making them more versatile performers, capable of tackling all different types of roles. However, those Triple Threat performers are being over taken by an emerging breed….
The Quadruple Threat: actors who sing, act, dance and play an instrument to a Grade 8 standard or higher. Or, as I prefer to think of these thoroughly accomplished people, Super Humans.
In an industry hard hit by the recession where funding is rapidly disappearing, producers are finding that casting actors who play instruments not only creates an exciting piece of theatre (which in turn draws greater audiences), but also allows money saving on orchestra costs. In the last 12 – 18 months I have seen countless jobs that I am unable to apply for because I gave up flute at the age of 14 and piano at the age of 17. (Should have listened to my father and persevered!)
I can’t help but be impressed by those performers who have mastered all these four disciplines and through my jealous haze I have a lot of respect for them. The concern is, are casting directors and producers asking too much of performers? Well, judging by the success of several of these shows (in particular the John Doyle directed 2004 production of Sweeney Todd, which could be credited with sparking off this trend) and the high calibre of the performers involved…. Well, it looks like the answer could be no. Clearly the performers are out there and now being a Triple Threat is simply not enough if you are to compete with your all singing, all dancing, Stanislavsky trained, cello playing neighbour.
So, should performing arts institutions be encouraging students to dust off their musical instruments and practise their way back to performance level? Or does it fall to the individual to enhance their skill base?
Personally I know what I think – and I’d love to debate this more, but I’ve got 10 years of practising to catch up on!
For more madness from Nicola’s world, visit www.nicolafoxfield.co.uk
Tickets now on sale for Hecate Theatre Co.’s Christmas extravaganza – “Stockings by the Fire: A Vaudeville Christmas Cabaret.” Expect a rather twisted, mischievous take on the festive season with plenty of music, some circus tricks, physical theatre and storytelling galore. Not to be missed.
Hecate Theatre are pleased to announce the title of their onstage radio extravaganza to be performed in January – “The Graveyard Slot.” Inspired by the term used for a late-night/early morning radio show, Hecate’s “The Graveyard Slot” should prove to be the opposite of its title’s origins: a riotous, crackpot comedy featuring murder, mystery and a smorgasbord of silly voices. See www.hecatetheatre.co.uk/events for more. 24th-28th January 2012 at The Little Black Box theatre.
Breaking news: Regretfully, Hecate Theatre will no longer be performing Nick Shelton’s “Deathline” at the Little Black Box next January. The decision not to move forward with the play, despite a cast and crew being in place, mainly concerned a feeling that the play didn’t quite gel with Hecate’s idiosyncratic style of show-making. No fault on either side (from the writer or Hecate), simply the fact that the team at Hecate felt they would have to adapt the play too much in their own interests and wouldn’t do justice to the writer’s original vision. We wish Nick the best of luck with any future performances of “Deathline.”
In the meantime, the space at The Little Black Box will be filled with a new show: a comic radio play that will be performed live before the audience! Keep an eye on the Events page for more details.