An interesting question has occurred to me and it’s this: do we have to/should we always be making the theatre we like watching?
The answer seems obvious – why would you make something you wouldn’t want to go and see? I agree with this, on the whole definitely make work that would make you want to see it if you saw a trailer for it. My question, though, has more to do with the rehearsal process and how we might be limiting ourselves by focusing too much on the work we love. So often in the rehearsal room we will hear ourselves saying “I love it when theatre companies do this…” followed by an explanation of that particular thing and an attempt to work that thing into your show. This is what I think we should be wary of doing; just because we like something doesn’t mean it will work for our show – a technique inspired by a piece of theatre, art, film, novel that on the whole we didn’t really like might work much better than something we loved.
I think we should be as open to drawing influence from the world of things we dislike as from that of those we do. It’s a case of finding out how your story wants to be told, and not necessarily how you want to tell it. Easy to talk about, hard to achieve!