Saturday, 13 March 2010

Ol' Man River

I have just witnessed some photos which really made me lose all respect for the operatic society I used to be a member of. It is a society I did three shows with, and like most drama related things it was a very clicky, sometimes bitchy place. I had some lovely times with them and I had some times where I just wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits.

They put on a good show, of course I could be a bit biased, and their vocal quality is superb, they are known for doing the old musicals, the classics like Camelot and The Scarlet Pimpernel, but to see that in 1993 a complete white society did a production of Show Boat and blacked up half of the cast, to me, seems wrong.

As an old member of the society I know that each show is directed and rehearsed with care, but as a student who has studied the show that quite literally changed the face of musical theatre and dealt with deep issues of race it seems wrong and disrespectful to everything Hammerstein and Kern challenged and created.

To be successful at anything you need to know your boundaries. If you respect them then you can at times break them, sometimes it is right to, other times it is not and I think that this is one time that that boundary should have been respected.

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