I’m no theatre buff, but even I notice when there’s a definite trend. I remember the very first thing I ever saw was Andy-Boyd’s Tweets way back in my Year 11 Theatre class, and I liked it well enough, even when we had to write essays pulling every inch of it apart.
Now I walk out of the theatre years later after seeing The Ryan King, and I just think they’ve substituted spectacle for story. It was nice seeing the story of Ryan, a man who becomes king of all the Ryans in the world (they’re part of a hive-mind in this reality, so it would seem) but their contract with some window tinting companies has compromised the artistic vision somewhat.
Like, nothing against window tinting or the companies that do it…it’s a sponsorship for them, and they probably just supplied the product. Tinted windows galore, flooding the stage, and they had no influence over the creative vision or whatever.
But when the play opened with a dramatic sunrise, the musical number all about how tinting is all part of the great rectangle of life, and it moves us all, to not look into windows so much, I got distracted. Like, ease up on the product placement. Ryan also mentioned his passion for tinted windows and frosted window glass very often. The story ended with him creating such beautiful frosted glass that he was crowned king of the Ryans, The Ryan King, and he stood on a giant wedge made of glass while holding up his latest creation (yep, it’s a piece of frosted glass) while all the Ryan-folk down below cheered and clapped and bowed before his majesty.
Wow. Not sure if Boyd has just been super into frosted window glass all these years, or if he’s totally compromised his morals and sold out to the highest bidder. I just feel like a musical specifically about glass tinting and frosting would have been better, right? Someone should make that.