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What happened to the mugshot?

December 3, 2014

It’s really starting to annoy me.

I’m talking about what has gone missing from far too many theatre programmes recently.

In the old days, the programme had a cast list, then pages of “head shots,” (admittedly, some dated, some hideously taken, a few just plain hideous) with the name and achievements of the cast member underneath. Writing an opinion for the site, I just matched headshot to body on stage, and it was fine.

Now, those headshots have started to vanish. Instead, you do get the names, but no photo. Those are restricted to a few pages of “photo montage.” Actors wallying around in rehearsal, or posing for the photographer on stage. If you are lucky, the photos are captioned and the characters are in full costume. Sometimes, they are not.

Result, you can’t always be totally sure that you are praising (or, of course, slagging off) the right thespian. Worth remembering, programme compilers, that for those sitting more than a few rows from the front, faces are not always clear…

Actually, while we are on the subject, I’d also like back the list of song titles in a musical’s programme (it’s embarrassing having to ask a kindly PR for the show for them when writing up), the “theatre quiz” which used to pass the time nicely during the interval, and the smart “first performed on” date title page listing the cast, producers etc, plus a nice logo of the show.

Call me “Mr Nostalgic” if you like, but I’d also like the tiny “production credits” restored too… it was kind of nice to know that “wardrobe care is by Persil” don’t you think? Oh, and mixing the articles would be good – make them less about what’s on in the rest of the chain’s theatres.

And please, on the first of the month, start selling new programmes. Those of us who go regularly get angry when for two months we get the same pulp wrapped around the current production’s scrappy 4 pages of cast montage and vague scene-setting description (sans captions / list of musical numbers etc).

Not a lot to ask for my four quid now, is it?!

2 Comments
  1. December 4, 2014 9:24 pm

    Hear hear. Agreed!!!

    • Steve Rich permalink
      December 5, 2014 8:45 am

      That’s 5 replies all in favour now… hope someone who edits programmes is reading this LOL.

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