Of these we told him, And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it.

This is one of the things Art does. It is not simply the work itself (though the work itself can bring joy) but the anticipation of the work. There is the play itself and there is the excitement before the play. In some cases, the pre-show anticipation is better than the play. And in others, the reverse.

Of course, as an artist, I often forget to look forward to seeing things. I get caught up in obligation, in seeing work out of duty, rather than pleasure. But there are the occasional performances that reignite that joy and keep it alight with the pay off. Kafka’s Monkey, for example, I looked forward to with great eagerness and had my expectations met and then exceeded. Told by an Idiot’s production of Casanova, Improbable’s Satyagraha, Complicite’s Mneumonic, Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter, Rapunzel and The Wild Bride, Theatre de le Jeune Lune’s The Miser, the Escapist’s Boy Girl Wall, Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment and so on.

And in a way, because I am so jaded and because of how often I roll my eyes at whatever production is announced, the joy of hearing about things I actually want to see is sweeter and more precious. Especially when they deliver the anticipated good work.

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