Sunday, November 15, 2009

Here comes ovation inflation


At the end last night's performance of The Pitmen Painters in Norwich the gentleman next to us was on his feet applauding almost before the play had ended. Had he seen something I had missed in an evening that for me was little more than an entertaining tableau of class and gender stereotypes devised by Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall with one eye on being politically engaged and the other on the box office? Or was it simply another example of ovation inflation?

Elsewhere I see that Gustavo Dudamel now receives a standing ovation before he conducts a note, while at the BBC Proms applause between the movements is commonplace. How long before standing ovations between the movements becomes the latest expression of reputation inflation?

We paid for our tickets for The Pitmen Painters at the box office. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

3 comments:

Gavin Plumley said...

Despite your advocacy of so many wonderful endeavours, Dudamel, Lee Hall and the fervour of the Proms (none of which are bad things) clearly fall outside your sphere of approval. That's absolutely fine, I just wouldn't denigrate those who revel in these things, as it undermines your boosterism elsewhere.

Pliable said...

Gavin, Dudamel, Lee Hall and the fervour of the Proms do not fall outside my sphere of approval.

But standing ovations before concerts, entertainment dressed as art, and applauding between movements do

There is a difference.

Drew80 said...

You are always essential reading, Pliable.

Observing the Dudamel phenomenon has been highly amusing.

I have no idea whether Dudamel will turn into a fine conductor—only time will tell—but he certainly attracts the lunatics. Otherwise sane people have gone berserk, praising 250 youth musicians sawing away at “The Rite Of Spring”, a composition that turns into sludge when performed by such a vast number of players.

A conspicuous example of the widespread Dudamel foolishness is a photograph I saw on some website of two goofy-looking concert-goers proudly wearing to a Dudamel concert yellow Venezuelan jackets plastered with Venezuelan flags.

Need I add that the goofy-looking concert-goers were not Venezuelan?

It was, at once, cringe-inducing, idiotic, frightening and bizarre—yet somehow indicative of the times.