I don't know how you spent this evening but I spent mine on the corner opposite the Maryland Hotel in Waterford herding an opera audience into a theatre. Impressed? No? There is no hope for you, my friend.
The audience in question were sent spinning my way after act 1 of Puccini's Tosca, which is being staged in a daring and innovative fashion in three seperate venues. Now. I know what daring and innovative immediately says to you, the discerning reader: fucked-up and poncy. But no! It was terrific, I assure you! Well, I was terrific anyway. But we knew that, didn't we?
Act 1 took place in the Waterford Pro-cathedral, featuring a load of boring but terribly excellent singers and your host, Lucy, stalking the aisles, fearlessly flogging programs. For act 2 the audience were unceremoniously jiggled down the road to the Theatre Royal by members of the cast in soldier's uniforms and rifles. Oh, the excitement! Shuttup, purists; this is a modern version, k? Hence, and through the theatre, over the stage and through the back door to follow Mario's execution squad and gaoler back to the courtyard of Bishops' Palace for act 3, attended by the tolling of the cathedral's bell, for Mario and Tosca's reunion and (eek! Spoiler!) both their deaths. And if you are me, on to the pub with the cast and crew to steal their sandwiches and pretend you know shit about opera.
In a related matter, when you are speaking to anyone who works in or anywhere near the theatre they will, without doubt, put their hand on your shoulder, look gravely at you and say 'You. Were. Amazing. Couldn't do it without you lot, you know?' This is their way, the people of the stage. I can't say I have a problem with them doing this. I got a blistering hug off Scarpia in this way and I don't really have a problem being embraced by dashing, ponytailed, Brazilian baritones so honestly, why complain?
You people. One day I'm testing you on your French impressionists, the next I'm shoving Puccini down your throats. It's not all Big Brother and the Sugababes with me you know. DO NOT say I don't bring you enough culture.