Why we love theatre. 18 November 2015 Or: Why we got into this in the first place

To mark this year's #LoveTheatreDay, we asked members of The Corner Shop team to reveal what sparked their interest in the artform.

"I first found my love of theatre as the main child role in Watford Palace Theatre's pantomime, Mother Goose, at the age of eight. Singing 'Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf' in front of 500 people every night gave me the bug and I haven't looked back since." (Hannah Osborne)

"Coming from a religious family, I was always familiar with the heightened atmosphere and performative ritual of Sunday Mass. But, for most of my childhood, 'theatre' meant 'pantomime'. Then I saw Les Misérables on tour, with its central conflict between judgement and redemption, and I was surprised to find it more than a theatrical experience; it was spiritual. I was wooed by a sort of composite feeling - part escapism, part catharsis - and I've been chasing that feeling ever since." (Paul Goodman)

"The year I graduated from Goldsmiths with a degree in English and Drama, I went to see Robert Lepage's Tectonic Plates and it genuinely changed my understanding of what theatre was and what it could be. It also changed my life. Merci Monsieur." (Clair Chamberlain)

"I saw Mark Rylance and a very young (unknown) Eddie Redmayne in Twelfth Night at the Globe on a school trip about 14 years ago. It was the first time I’d ever seen a show in London and I'd never before seen a live Shakespeare that really made any impact on me. I remember standing mesmerised for three hours and not wanting it to end. Pretty much decided to study theatre at university and move to London by the time the show came down." (Hannah Clapham)

"My first taste of theatre was when I was seven. On my brother's tenth birthday we were both sat down and told we were going to go up to London and see Oliver!. In my head it was a bit like those adverts where the parents tell the kids they're going to Disneyland, it was incredibly exciting. We were at the front of the balcony and I wore a little flatcap (referred to as my Oliver hat) and sat with my chin on the safety rail and sung along to everyone song - the theatre charter gang would hate me. Every time I'm flippant about going to the theatre or annoyed that I need to spend another evening in the stalls I try to remember just how lucky I felt then." (Philippa Redfern)

"I got into the theatre industry because when I was younger I loved acting and essentially being the centre of attention. As I grew up, I didn't want to act anymore but still loved theatre and wanted to work in the industry." (Sasha Haughan)

"I grew up on a farm, so the world of theatre was extremely remote as a child. But as a teenager I was inspired by a combination of good teaching, family encouragement and plain curiosity to take part in school and local theatre productions. For me, like many people, it felt like a natural home, and I decided to try and make a career at it - even if I wasn't entirely sure how. I've seen the theatre industry from many sides since, and have never taken lightly the privilege of being part of it." (Theo Bosanquet)

"I took an internship with a theatre while I was waiting to hear back about a job I'd applied for at BBC Radio. That was ten years ago." (Stephen Pidcock)

"I've always been captivated by the sense of shared experience in theatre - whether you're laughing, crying or falling asleep (!), you're doing it as part of a community, however temporary. That's something which is pretty special - and rare - especially today." (Sarah Farrell)

"At the age of six, I saw Peter Pan at the National six times. We had only booked to go once, but I loved it so much that I cried on the way home because it was over, so my mother decided to console me by booking to go again. This absurd cycle continued on and on until the run ended. At one point, I looked at the programme and was (again) completely devastated to realise that Daniel Evans was wearing a wig to play Peter. Once it was all over I wrote to Trevor Nunn about how much I adored it, and he wrote me a lovely letter in response. Now I still remember the songs from that show, but I love theatre for its transience and artifice rather than in spite of it." (Jessie Anand)


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