Painting of the London Palladium by Cathy Read

London Palladium Meditation

Gazing Up at the London Palladium

The London Palladium is a familiar name to anybody interested in plays and performances. Theatre is a strange mix of artifice. And yet the emotions felt by the audience can be as real, as if they were personally experiencing the events. When you arrive at the theatre, you know it’s fake, but a good performance will take you in, run you through with every possible emotion and turn you out, a few hours later, a changed person. A good performance at the theatre leave you changed. So much as a theatre, strike that. all of the theatre is contrived an illusion and yet feelings are real. Even though we know the story is fiction.

Some performances feel so real, that we cannot help ourselves. Are you are crying? No, There’s a speck in your eye. If you laugh anymore, your signs will split. You know how it goes.

The whole experience of the theatre appears opulent. Looking at the London Palladium we see a stone facade with Roman arches and columns. Stained glass around the awning. Fake flame bulbs which immediately look wrong. They look like inverted ice cream cones to me, butterscotch or orange flavour. In fact, the whole building has a confectionery air. Pastel colours which would grace French fancies, wedding cake pillars and iced details.

Too fanciful? Perhaps.

How many stories has this building witnessed? Countless plays and performances, of course. There are the actors and musicians who have lived their working lives there. Relationship started and finished with each production run, sometimes rekindled at a later date and others as ships that pass in the night, never more to see each other.

How many first dates met underneath that awning? Did they leave together or part never to meet again? The theatre is all about romance, and it doesn’t care whether that happens on stage or in the audience just as long as it happens.

Painting of the London Palladium by Cathy Read
London Palladium - ©2021 - Cathy Read - Watercolour and Acrylic - 56 x 76 cm

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