This Theatre Festival, crowds seem fierce apt to leap to their feet after the final curtain in a manner that almost dilutes the power of the standing ovation. At the opening nights of Metamorphosis, The Year of Magical Thinking and Black Watch, only a smattering of curmudgeons (myself included) remained in their seats while the rest were so enraptured they were propelled out of theirs.
Either I am impossible to please, temporarily paralysed, contary, or, and this is a longshot, I like to reserve a standing ovation for the kind of rare moments when you really are forced out of your seat in an enthusiasm or emotion inspired by the show you’ve just witnessed and not because the person in front of you is blocking your view. Statistically speaking, the latter would seem unlikely to occur three times in a row in any given week. Am I being churlish? Is the standing ovation the new opening night standard? If so, does anyone else find this an irritating trend?