West End London is usually known by most Chinese audiences as a theatrical stage at the highest level of the world. However, when you walk into any theater in the West End with great respect and watch a play for the first time, you will find the marvelous performance a bit too approachable, and a night in the name of art seems to be slightly noisy with various tourists crowding the theater. Even in the United Kingdom where a slogan that art is for all is deeply rooted among the people, a play full of pleasure but not thought-provoking will still make you doubt this “highest level” of theatre.
倫敦西區,這個擲地有聲的名字通常被中國的普通觀眾解讀為世界最高水準 的戲劇舞台。然而,當你抱著崇敬的心情第一次走進西區的任意一家劇場裡 觀 看 演 出 後 ,你 會 發 現 ,似 乎 演 出 精 采 得 有 點 過 於 平 易 近 人 ,一 個 以 藝 術 為 名義的夜晚在週遭各色遊客的簇擁下略顯嘈雜。即使在藝術既為大眾的口 號深入人心的英國,一個充分愉悅而欠缺了思考的夜晚還是讓你不免懷疑, 難道這就是“最高的水平”?
Simply say yes or no is not sufficient to answer the above question, let us first review the relationship between audiences and theater. Like most forms of art, theater also derives from religion. Ritual performances in sacrificial ceremonies have been gradually separated and developed into theater over the years. However, compared with other forms of art, the biggest feature of theater is that theatre cannot exist on its own without audience. Therefore, the relationship between audience and theatre has always been emphasized in theatrical artists’ creation. Such an emphasis, however, does not mean that the creators converge with audiences’ taste, but that they communicate with audience through their own creativity so as to make audience understand their creative intentions and then evaluate their ways of presentation. Therefore, the evaluation of a play often varies, which is not only caused by audience’s personal preference but also by their different levels of appreciation. For example, the feelings of an audience who knows theatre well and an ordinary audience will be quite different, when they are watching the same classic play. Such differences are often caused by the degree of their familiarity with the play and knowledge of theater and even production. In addition, a large part of audiences of the West End are visitors from other cities or other countries, of whom a large number come from non-English-speaking countries. Thus, most popular productions are often those that are widely known or easy to understand, and strive to communicate with audiences clearly.
在“是與不是”的簡單答案不足以回答上述的問題時,讓我們先 來回顧觀眾與戲劇演出的關係。和大多數藝術形式一樣,戲劇也 是源自宗教。在祭祀儀式中的表演在漫長的歲月裡逐漸獨立出 來成為戲劇。然而比較其他的藝術形式,戲劇最大的特點是表演 不能在沒有觀眾的情況下獨立存在。因此,觀演關係一直在戲劇 藝術家的創作中得以重視。然而,這種重視並不意味着對於觀眾 品味的趨同,創作者是在通過自己的創造力同觀眾溝通,從而讓 觀眾瞭解自身的創作意圖,並對於其表述方式予以評價。因此, 對於一齣戲劇的評價,往往因人而異,這不光是由觀眾的個人喜 好決定的,也是由不同觀眾的欣賞水平決定的。舉一個例子,一 位深諳歌劇的觀眾和一位普通觀眾在觀看同一部經典歌劇的感 悟是不盡相同的。決定這些區別的往往是對於這種藝術形式,甚 至某出作品的熟悉和瞭解的程度。另外,西區的觀眾中有很大一 部分為來自英國其他城市以及世界各地的遊客,很多遊客都來 源於非英語國家。因此最受觀眾歡迎的戲劇作品,往往是廣為人 知、通俗易懂的。在表演上,也力求清晰明了的創作溝通。
This, of course, is still not enough to answer the above-mentioned question. Then let us look at the nature of theaters in the West End. Most of theaters in the West End were established from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, and there are nearly 50 theaters in total, among which the majority is self-financing commercial theaters and there are only a few are funded by the government, such as the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Opera House. The West End is located in the center of London, which is an expensive location. The size of each theater there ranges from a seating capacity of over 400 to that of over 2000, and to fill these theaters to capacity means to fill a large stadium to capacity. Therefore, in the selection of productions, a theater must consider attendance. In respect of forms of theater, musicals become a major component part of theater in the West End, for they are easy to understand. A lot of production companies have much acquaintance with musicals and thus create many classic musicals that are passed down from one generation to the next and flourish all the time. Classic ballet performances and as such are also widely accepted, for they overcome cultural differences. As for stage plays in the West End, they can be more appropriately regarded as small theatrical works which are selected from London and other regions of the UK according to the ‘audience favorite list’ and then re-produced according to business rules. Since these works have already been recognized, there naturally will be no need to worry about publicity and ticketing. There are also some rather confident producers creating original stage plays, which are mainly adapted from classic plays with widespread popularity, usually works of British writers.
這當然仍不足以回答最初的問題,接着讓我們來看一下西區劇 場的性質。西區的劇場大多建於19世紀末、20世紀初,近50個 劇院中以自負盈虧的商業劇院為主,只有皇家國家劇院(Royal National Theatre),皇家歌劇院(Royal Opera House)等為數 不多的幾家由政府資助。西區位於倫敦的市中心,寸土寸金之 地,每間劇場規模從400多觀眾席至2000多觀眾席不等,每天晚上,填滿這些劇場的坐席就相當於要填滿一個 大型體育場。因此,劇場在劇目的選擇上必須 要考慮上座率。在戲劇形式上,音樂劇因其通俗易懂成為西區戲劇的主要一個組成部分,很 多製作公司也因熟知而擅長,創作出很多經典音樂劇作品代代傳承,長演不衰。經典歌劇芭蕾等也因跨越了文 化差異而被廣為接受。西區的話劇很多則更像是根據“觀眾喜愛 排行榜”擇選出來自倫敦及英國各地受觀眾喜愛的小劇場作品, 根據商業規則重新製作。有了之前的觀眾基礎,自然也不愁宣傳 和票務。另有一些非常自信的製作人也製作原創話劇,這些話劇 往往以經典劇作為主,擁有廣泛的知名度,通常以英國本土作家 作品常見。
In summary, the artistic value of theatrical productions in the West End is undeniable, for they fully consider the relationship between audiences and performances, giving audiences enjoyment and ensuring perfect and professional production. How- ever, due to the nature of theaters in the West End, breakthroughs are rarely made there, experimental works and foreign plays are rarely seen either, and most of productions are adapted from local or other English-speaking countries’ classic works. In addition, as we have mentioned, a large proportion of audiences in the West End are tourists, theaters there even become one of the reasons to come to London for a lot of tourists. Therefore, it can be said that the West End is a business card of British theater, which places the most exciting part of the British theater in front of you, but if you really want to feel the charm of theater, dozens of theaters out- side the West End will bring you extraordinary plays of all kinds.
綜上所述,西區戲劇的藝術價值是不可否認的,因為它們充分 地考慮了觀演關係,保證了作品的觀賞性,製作精良專業。但是, 由於劇場的性質,西區的劇場很少突破,實驗性質的小眾作品罕 見,外國劇目也非常罕見,大多數劇目為本土、或者其他英語語 系的經典作品。正如上文提到的,西區的觀眾中有很大比例的是 遊客,西區劇場甚至成為了很多遊客來倫敦的理由之一。因此, 可以說西區是英國戲劇的一張名片,它把最為精采的部分擺在 你的眼前,但是如果想真正瞭解戲劇的魅力,倫敦西區之外的幾 十家劇場往往會給你帶來不一樣的精采。
Lawrence Olivier Awards (referred to as Olivier Awards in China) is presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognize excellence in professional theatre. Named after the renowned British actor Laurence Olivier, they are given for West End shows and other productions staged in London. The Olivier Awards are recognized internationally as the highest honor in British theatre and are considered to be the theatre industry equivalent of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for television and film.
勞倫斯奧利維爾獎(中國翻譯為:奧利弗獎)是每年由倫敦劇院 協會評選頒佈的卓越專業劇院獎項。該獎項以英國著名演員勞 倫斯·奧利維爾之名命名,評選範圍為西區及其它在倫敦上演的 作品。奧利弗獎是國際公認的英國戲劇行業的最高榮譽,地位相 當於英國電影和電視藝術學院獎。
The awards are presented annually across a range of categories covering plays, musicals, dance, opera and affiliate theatre. Any production that staged between February 16 and February 15 the following year, in a theatre represented in membership of the Society of London Theatre is eligible for en- try for the Olivier Awards if it has run for a mini- mum of 30 performances. Entries for the awards do not necessarily have to be new productions.
該獎項評選範圍涵蓋戲劇、音樂劇、歌劇、舞蹈及非西區劇場。由 倫敦劇院協會成員選送的,於每年二月十六日至次年二月十五 日期間演出至少30場以上的劇目才有資格參選。參選作品並不 一定是新作品。
The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known informally as the Tony Awards, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isa- belle Stevenson Award. The Tony Awards are considered the highest U.S. theatre honor, equivalent to the Oscars for motion pictures, the Grammy Awards for music and the Emmy Awards for television.
安托瓦內特佩里優秀戲劇獎,更常見的非正式稱謂為托尼獎。 該獎項是由美國劇院協會和百老匯聯盟評審優秀的百老匯劇院 的成就。頒獎典禮每年在紐約舉行,除去授予百老匯的演出作品 獎項,還設有地區性劇院獎項。托尼獎還設有部分非競爭獎項包 括特殊托尼獎(Special Tony Award), 托尼劇場榮譽獎(Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre), 以及伊莎貝爾·史蒂文森獎(Isabelle Stevenson Award)。每個賽季,在托尼獎的官方網站 上都會登發當季的評選規則。托尼獎被認為是美國劇院的最高 榮譽,齊名的其他行業獎項包括奧斯卡電影獎,格萊美音樂獎和 電視艾美獎。
TWO HIGHEST AWARDS IN THEATRE LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARDS VS TONY AWARDS
舞台雙雄——奧利弗獎 VS. 托尼獎
LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARDS 奧利弗獎
Laurence Olivier Awards, de- signed by the sculptor Harry Franchetti. It depicts Lord Olivier as Henry V at the Old Vic in 1937.
勞倫斯·奧利維爾獎(中國譯 為:奧利弗獎)是雕塑家Harry Franchetti依據Laurence在 1937年OLD VIC版本的亨利五世中的造型而鑄造
TONY AWARDS 托尼獎
Designed by Art Director Herman Rosse in 1949, who once studied in the Royal College of Art, London
由曾就讀倫敦皇家藝術學院的 美國藝術導演Herman Rosse於 1949年設計
LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARDS
TONY AWARDS 托尼獎
Awarded for 評獎名義
Best in London theatre 最佳倫敦劇場作品
Excellence in Broadway theatre 最佳百老匯作品
Presented by 頒獎單位
The Society of London Theatre 倫敦戲劇協會
American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League 美國戲劇派百老匯聯盟
First awarded 起始時間