|re: Thanks for those reviews.....|
|Last Edit: sf 12:59 pm EDT 03/13/23|
|Posted by: sf 12:26 pm EDT 03/13/23|
|In reply to: re: Thanks for those reviews..... - ryhog 11:53 am EDT 03/13/23|
|It's called meeting people at their own level.
But there's a wider point here, which is simply that some things don't travel well beyond borders. This show portrays sixty years of social history through the lens of a flat in a specific building in a northern city. It's something most of us will recognise, because there's a complex like Park Hill in most cities in this country, but it's not necessarily something that will mean as much to audiences from outside the UK - just as it's hardly unknown for a play to be a huge success d'estime in New York and then meet a less rapturous reception elsewhere.
I don't come from Sheffield, but most of the events this show portrays could have happened within a mile of where I grew up. I can pick holes in Standing at the Sky's Edge - fewer holes, actually, than I can pick in, for example, Blood Brothers, which also could have taken place within a mile of where I grew up - but there's a lot in it I recognised, and that's a big part of why it moved me. For someone who is not from this country, who perhaps doesn't get - for example, in relation to the closing sequence of the show's first half, what a seismic impact Thatcher's election had in the industrial north - there isn't going to be that same level of recognition that a UK audience will experience.
Our culture industry tends to export a very specific image of this country overseas, and this show is not it. The cultural products we export tend not to take place in the north, or if they *do* - Downton Abbey is set in Yorkshire - they are not set in the inner-city post-industrial north. The history of that part of this country is not widely taught in other countries - and it should be, because those cities are where the Industrial Revolution began, and the Industrial Revolution changed the face of more or less the entire planet - and because it presents so much history through three separate (but related) timelines this show relies on the audience being able to fill in some of the gaps. That, I'm afraid, is going to put people from outside this country at a disadvantage.
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