The Civility of Hope
Who's yo' daddy?

A public rehearsal

The theatre makes magic. That's its job.

Like all jobs, magic entails work. Very few elements of an actor's art are truly spontaneous; it is her craft to conceal this fact.

Artistic inspiration comes only when the nuts and bolts are tight, when we have dispensed with the practical demands of putting people around each other in a limited space. To paraphrase Noël Coward, magic happens when everyone knows his lines, and nobody trips over the furniture.

A good rehearsal is like carpentry. At the end, you've built a functional object, the performance. Like a door, you can open it and close it as many times as you like, and it will always do the same thing.

In my student theatre days, I used to love rehearsals; nowadays, I treasure the moments when I stumble across one. Cycling home from work today, I did just that.

The Altstadtfest happens this weekend, a highlight of Munich's 850th birthday celebrations. One of major performances is the München Revue, in the Odeonsplatz. It will, it seems, involve an acrobat on a trapeze suspended above the crowd.

Just another workaday job on a working city street. Very few of the passers-by even noticed.

Plenty of workers sitting around, leaning on their shovels. In the theatre, that's forgivable; indeed, it's necessary. They're waiting for a cue.

The craft of the theatre doubles in complexity when you put it on film. If managing actors in a physical space in a theatre proves a challenge, imagine the same thing with the audience wearing blinkers. That's film.

These filmy types are working for Bayerische Rundfunk, the German version of the BBC. Actually, it's not quite the German BBC: that's Deutsche Welle, based in Cologne. Bayerische Rundfunk is the Bavarian state BBC. They've covered Munich's birthday celebrations diligently.

Though not a national institution, BR is a broadcaster of considerable standing. Listen to any classical music station on the planet, and you'll soon hear a recording made by the so-called Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. That's BR.

With 20 million inhabitants, Bavaria holds as many people as Australia; why shouldn't our local broadcaster be on a par, at least with the ABC? BR broadcasts throughout Germany.

These pictures are much better if you embiggen them, BTW. By a neat coincedence, this week's Photo Friday challenge is Lightness.
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