-We went to see the performance of Cain's Book in The Arches Theatre Glasgow. The Arches is a venue I had never heard of before and when we arrived there I wasn't surprised why I hadn't as it isn't your typical area for a theatre venue. The Arches is situated in an under passage in the centre of Glasgow, surrounded by some odd shops and fast food places and one of the entrances to Cenral Station. The area is pretty run down looking, quite dark and dingy and an area I wouldn't feel very comfortable being in on my own. This is pretty fitting for the themes in Cain's book of drug use. The idea that sterotypical views of the locations assossiated with drugs and drug use are pretty dark and dingy and uncomfortable. The Arches stands out significantly from other theatres as it is so diversaly different, not just from the outside appearances and location, but when you get inside the change is surprising.
-When entering The Arches it is hard to believe that the outside and location is the same place. The venue is bright and spacious on the inside, very relaxed and inviting. Brightly lit with dimmed lighting, even the tables are lit from bulbs on the inside. The area is full of chairs and sofas, a gentle hum of peoples conversations fill the room. It is hard to determine exactly what this area is however. As you walk to the back of this room you look down into a cafe area and it becomes clear that The Arches is a very multi purpose venue. This seating area is where we all wait until the performance is announced.
-After visiting The Arches for this performance of Cain's Book, I decided to do some research into the venue itself as it stood out to me and I was interested to find out more about it. In 1991, former Arches Artistic Director Andy Arnold realised the potential of the great cavernous space underneath Glasgow's Central Station. Twenty one years on The Arches has become one of Europe's leading cultural venues playing host to some of Britains biggest club nights, gigs and exciting new theatre. Along with visual arts exhabitions. People also are able to drop in for lunch at the cafe or drinks at the cafe bar. It is clear The Arches isnt just your average theatre venue.
-The architecture within The Arches is very Victorian, which comes from what the venue used to be. The venue is 65,000 square feet of floor space which is spread over two floors and seven arches. The site of the venue was a previously derelict area below the Glasgow Central railway station. When the space was obtained by Andy Arnold, he intended it to be for the purposes of creating a theatre. Realising however the substantial funding that theatre productions require, Arnold decided to stage nightclub events to support his projects, and this practice continues to this day, the clubbing revenues helping to fund the array of events it hosts on a regular basis.
-When inside The Arches we picked up our tickets from the reception desk and were told to wait in the open area of sofas and chairs. It was difficult to imagine sitting here how this relaxed, almost retro style venue, could be harbouring a theatre space somewhere. After the performance was announced, the audience members were all guided to the theatre space. The walk to the theatre was short, however very ironically fitting again for the plays themes. We were guided a path which seemed to lead us further down the building, deeper underground. It was similar to outside, the same dark and dingy atmosphere and lighting. As we walked to the theatre we began to hear very obvious sounds of the trains from central station passing over our heads. This created a rumbling sensation and somehow added an interesting element to the performance we were about to see.
The Performance Space
-The way the audience entered the performance space was reasonably informal. The audience chatted amongst themselves as they entered the theatre. There was no allocated seats for this...
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