Introducing: Stagedoor Circle

“There’s no better outing than a theatre outing and there’s no better way to go to the theatre than through a Stagedoor event.”

Well, we might have cheated a bit. Even though there’s a (very slight) possibility that this is a made up quote, it is our aim and our dream to make London theatre lovers feel this way.

Because, as we’ve said before and can never stress enough, the mission of Stagedoor is to create a seamless platform that acts as a digital community for theatre lovers. A digital community through which they can access the entire theatre landscape with transparency and ease; THE place where theatre will subsist for them.

Having said that, it is undeniable that the magic of theatre lies within the confines of authenticity, physical presence, and one off interactions that ignite strong forms of communication between the stage and the audience. And of course, the culture we want to build is nothing less than that. In a highly interconnected, digitally driven world, we want the Stagedoor app to be the foundation of something bigger, something more real. A foundation that will help nurture a culture of genuine relationships; a circle of people that come together because of their common passion for theatre; interact, converse, think and laugh. The Stagedoor Circle.

Stagedoor Circle at Hand to God.

Consequently, we are super excited to announce that our very first Stagedoor Circle get together happened last Thursday, on the 11th of February. Our CEO gathered with some of London’s most loved theatre bloggers, together with some good friends and theatre lovers to watch the much discussed Hand to God, at Vaudeville Theatre.

Hand to God — Vaudeville Theatre.

It was a truly great experience to meet some of our users and finally see the faces of people, who up until now, were interacting with us via written words! But most importantly, what we were most enthused about, was the fact that our event encouraged discussions and engagement around the performance; in our opinion, one of theatre’s most powerful influences.

In a conversation with our CEO, Michael Hadjijoseph, actress Melina Theocharidou expressed her opinion:

“For me, Hand to God, was a reminder of humans’ potential for the best and the worst; and how, at our worst, we tend to harm ourselves as well as others, and perpetuate the cycle of mean/ugly/violent behaviour. The show had me laughing out loud, marvelling at the actors’ inventive performances (and particularly Harry Melling in the stand-out, virtuoso role) and often nodding away in recognition at moments of shared anguish and joy alike. I loved the fact that the play ended with the characters making extraordinary efforts to rise above the bitterness that poisoned their relationships and, despite having caused each other enormous harm, finally finding a way to help each other through to the other side, with kindness and understanding.”

Our CEO, Michael Hadjijoseph, with Maria Christina Salcedo.

Meanwhile, in her recent blog post, Charlotte O’Growney praised Hand to God for its ingenuity:

“What I found most appealing about Hand To God was the fact that it featured consistent moments of comedic brilliance, and yet still felt like a slow burn, building towards a totally unpredictable finale. The plot itself raises so many meaningful and relevant questions that is impossible to write it off as just another raucous and gimmicky play designed purely to shock. Yes, it is completely outrageous, and also surprisingly a tiny bit terrifying, but every single absurd moment felt totally justified. In fact, given it’s reputation, I was actually expecting Hand To God to be a bit more of a laugh-a-minute type play, but while the jokes came slightly less frequently that I was expecting, this in no way took away from my overall enjoyment of it. While it’s certainly not for the easily offended, Hand To God really is an unmissable play. If your experience is anything like mine then you’ll leave the theatre with your heart racing and a huge grin on your face!”

Zarina’s attention turned to her fascination of Melling’s performance, and commented:

“Hand to God made me laugh and gasp in equal measures while I marvelled at Melling’s incredible performance. He was so astonishingly good that I would happily watch a two-hour play consisting solely of a Jason-and-Tyrone face-off. Almighty theatre gods, please make it happen!”

On the other hand, reporting on the event, Emma Clarendon, interprets the play as a “darkly funny comedy reveals the consequences if we let the voices in our heads take over our actions in an effective and chilling way.” And even though she agrees thatit is an intelligent, angry and hilarious piece of work that will appeal to people with a certain sense of humour”, she warns:

“However, as sharp as the production is, it isn’t really a must see if you are easily offended — plenty of swear words are used but to very little effect that in a way diminishes the power of the story. It also seems as though some of the conversations that have been written are slightly stilted, which although could add to the awkwardness and sinister nature of the play, but at times don’t flow well.”

Michael, Sammi O’Neill from Theatre South East and Emma Clarendon.

The beauty of theatre.

What’s right and what’s wrong? Well, that’s the beauty of theatre. There is no right and wrong. Everyone should be entitled to his/her own opinion, without being judged. Theatre is for all, and each performance is made up of moments that are rooted in the present, and exist to be received, accepted and interpreted by each individual in any way s/he wishes. This is exactly what we envision here at Stagedoor. We want to build a circle of theatre lovers that think and grow by sharing and discussing, rethinking and sometimes still disagreeing, but always, at the heart of it all, share a deep, deep love for theatre.

And who knows, one day, someone might actually use our (perhaps) made up quote.;)

P.S. Want to get involved? Let us know! Reach out at @StagedoorLDN on Twitter, and make sure to download our app. Rumour has it, it’s a must!