Tonight, I went to see Festen, performed by my The Company Theatre in Toronto. The players were superlative. But I'm bewildered by Toronto theatre-goers. I wonder is there some innate inability in Torontonians to experience, and let linger, a moment of tension. I've seen many plays here and consistently heavy, quiet moments are responded to with thigh-slapping gaiety. I don't get it.
Usually at the theatre, I enjoy being part of an audience. When I saw Krapp years ago there was palpable chemistry between John Hurt and the audience. He was feeding off their energy, not playing to them in any ham way, but there was a sense of synchronisity in the room. In Toronto, I'd buy out a whole theatre just to avoid sharing the air with the slapstick guffaws and chuckling. You might as well be at a pantomime.
On the flip side, Torontonians make a great music audience. Curious isn't it all?