The theatre is often seen as an exclusive form of entertainment, perhaps because of its association with more high-brow productions, with much of the general low-brow entertainment seen to be provided by film and television. However, not only was this not always the case (the bawdiest entertainments of Georgian England were found at the playhouses) but it is arguably still not. Pantomime is still a popular and vibrant theatre form, and technically, the routine of most stand-up comedians takes the form of a dramatic monologue, albeit it more Puck than Macbeth in tone.
New stage productions are being created, completed and commissioned all the time, and it is still an innovative form: while James Cameron’s Avatar might have set new standards for the current 3D craze on screen, the stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse brought to life the movements and actions of horses using amazing puppetry; and for the technically minded, Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth provided such an innovative take on the classic Shakespeare play that for the first time in a long while audiences were reminded that going to the theatre is watching a production, not a rerun—every performance brings something new and exciting to both stage and script, or at least it should. That perhaps is the beauty of theatre. You can watch a DVD over and over again, but a stage production, at its best, can provide the vitality and freshness of the first viewing again and again.