Seeing a play is one way that I revitalise myself. For me, a trip to the theatre is an act of self care and pure pleasure. I feel given to, with nothing expected in return. There’s a feeling of connectedness with the actors and the audience which I never get from watching a screen. As a psychologist, I advocate for self-compassion, self care, and connectedness, so it’s important that I walk the talk. This weekend I indulged myself with two plays.
The Mathematics of Longing
Watching the Mathematics of Longing at Brisbane’s Le Boite theatre, I immersed myself in another world for an hour. I love this smalltheatre in the round. It feels so intimate, and I intensified the experience by sitting in the front row. A friend insisted that we do this at the last play we enjoyed, and, somewhat reluctantly, I acquiesced. Unexpectedly I discovered that I loved the closeness to the actors and the feeling of being part of it all. During the Mathematics of Longing I wanted to reach out and console the actor and place my hand on his drooped shoulder. I was within reach and could so easily have done it.
Who would have thought mathematics could be so funny, sad and awe-inspiring? TheMathematics of Longing mesmerised me, but at times I became a little lost and confused. The play applied Newton’s Laws to the passion and tension of relationships – how clever is that! I left feeling linked to all humanity, our stars, and the millions of galaxies beyond ours. Not bad for an impulsive Friday night outing.
Wheel of Fortune
Saturday night took me to Metro Arts, an even smaller theatre. Wheel of Fortune was billed as:
Weirdly erotic, the ugly, the obscene, the beautiful, the strange and the sometimes disturbing lustful adventures of Brisbanians.
And indeed it was disturbing. Maybe Wheel of Sex would be a more appropriate name as I’m not sure that much fortune was involved. With all the gyrating that took place on stage, I was relieved that the first row was taken! The individual scenes were linked together through the entanglement of sex. While not uplifting like the Mathematics of Longing, it was still thought-provoking and challenged my understanding of fellow Brisbanians.
Applause for vulnerability
When I go to a show I ensure that I applaud loudly, even when the performance is not great. It takes such courage to go on stage. To perform any art is an act of vulnerability.
The cost of self care through a trip to the theatre
A ticket to The Mathematics of Longing was $56 for an adult, with those under 30 only having to pay $30. Metro Arts was even cheaper; $28 for general admission and $20 for a concession. Both were excellent value for money. I aim to return to both regularly. Seeing contemporary theatre is one of my favourite self care activities.
Thank you to my kids
My kids gave me a season pass to Le Boite for Christmas. They understand that giving an experience is far more meaningful and beneficial to me than any other gift. Thanks kids!
Is theatre self care for you.?
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I understand your thoughts here as going to an orchestral concert has the same effect on me. I lose myself to the music and gain pleasure picking out the different instruments. I enjoy the challenge of hearing pieces not heard before as well as a few favourites from time to time. Megan
I wish I enjoyed music like that. Though I have recently discovered that listening with my eyes closed increases the enjoyment and focus.