I seem to be ok questioning the commercial pretensions of Punchdrunk. But I’ve just turned the page of the Evening Standard and seen that Robert Sheehan is playing in The Playboy of the Western World at the Old Vic; in what I assume is the loose shirted lead. Quite frankly, I’m weak at the knees. I’ve just emailed my editor to beg for a ticket. I can’t deny it, in a commercial world, I am a commercial girl. I am a name slave.
Let’s just be clear, I love Sheehan for good reason. In Misfits, Channel 4’s insanely knowing sci-fi drama, Sheehan plays Nathan, the fast talking smooth chancer; Irish and arrogant, he is the twisted love interest to the sarky mouthed BAFTA winning Lauren Socha. I think he’s quite brilliant, funny and louche. I guess it helps that he’s also good looking. Would it be too much to say that he nearly fills in all the 21st century postmodern comedy gaps left by an overweight Oscar Wilde? Maybe it’s just me then.
So why is it ok, in my head, for a show to be sold as a commercial if it involves Mr Sheehan and not the great Doctor? I forgive this advert all its blatant fan manipulation in a way I wouldn’t do with Crash of the Elysium. Maybe it’s because of the idea of seeing Mr Sheehan in the flesh, a one off chance to experience my heartthrob right there. After all who is Doctor Who? Whether he’s ‘experienced’ at Olympia or Media City, or in a 3D Playbox experience, who’s really to tell the difference? But Robert, well as far as I’m aware there’s only one (legal) way to get this close to my fantasy buzz.
The Old Vic are masters of this name banging buck. With Kevin Spacey at the helm how could they not be. But for all my previous postulations, is there something in theatre giving us this immediate thrill (as well as a myriad of other vagabond things)? It’s always been the ephemeral art; the chance to experience something in a space for ‘just one night only’ and if it’s with a celebrity, surely so much the better?
I’ve been accused of being too cynical and maybe I should be a little kinder to Punchdrunk and all their corporate collaboration. I mean when the big names are calling we’re all only human right?