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Disposable Stuff.

June 22, 2011

A TV advert at the weekend got me thinking. In a factory somewhere, probably China or another country that we only hear about with the word “Disaster” or “Threat” as a prefix (despite the fact they are mostly ordinary folk, just as we are), somebody earns a living making small toy parts to go inside chocolate eggs. Somebody else has mined the basic ingredients that made the plastic, yet another person thought up the mixture to make the plastic and passed it to somebody to brew, somebody made up a design and passed that to somebody to build a machine to make it. And the original somebody sits at the machine, doing so. Then of course you have those who create the chocolate, the labels, ship the egg to the shop and created the advert that got me thinking in the first place.

Then somebody buys the egg, eats the chocolate, looks at the toy for a few minutes, and probably then chucks it into the bin from whence it is probably shipped back to  China or another country that we only hear about with the word “Disaster” or “Threat” as a prefix (despite the fact they are mostly ordinary folk, just as we are) for disposal. Like I said, it just got me thinking.

We can all chuck stuff away; but memories remain forever. Good and bad, like chocolate egg toys they too are created by many other people, often without any recognition or concious thought. That’s why I got a bit upset with some taking a real joy at the closure of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies” in August.

Something like 2000 people will have been involved in the show. From the tiniest ways possible – myself and fellow website owners publicising it and convincing our readers to buy tickets – to those who wrote, designed and staged the show; and of course the 200 plus at the theatre who keep it on stage and the venue going each night.

Yes, there were mistakes made. I felt that the composer possibly fought too valiantly against his personal problems at the time (and you can never blame somebody for that) to get the show on. That February, holding ‘full price’ previews perhaps raised expectations a little too far that the piece was ‘finished;’ thereby providing ammunition to an unexpectedly vociferous negative internet faction waiting to shoot down something still trying to mature before it officially ‘opened.’

For me the most irritating thing though, I referred to last week. Repeating a pattern established with “Sunset Boulevard” (same theatre, same producer), without a group rate at the beginning there were not enough people coming in to create strong positive word-of-mouth to counteract a stream of other less impressed reports. My own party of 20 all loved the show, with 4 instantly re-booking… imagine if I could have taken my usual 50 – that might have been up to 20 more ‘second timer’ tickets sold and countless more to friends based on recommendation.

The good thing is that I saw it, and will always remember much of the second half as some of the best, if not the best, writing and staging I’ve ever seen. In the days before easy piracy of shows for ‘bootleg’ filming, memories were all anybody had to rely on to flesh out a tattered script.
Now, I’m sure the show has been recorded somewhere and may appear on some file sharing site until lawyers find it; but my thought is this: they can close a show, but can’t take away the happy memories of those who enjoy them. It’s another great reason to always value memories over possessions, I think.

Hmm, entry finished for the week. I wonder if my local newsagent has Kinder eggs in… that tiny little neon green vintage car looked quite fun…

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