Radical Rhymes

Yesterday I went to see Les Miserables the musical. It wasn’t my first time, and Victor Hugo’s masterpiece is the only book that actually reduced me to tears. But it isn’t the performance I want to discuss here, although it was magnificent, it’s the interactions I observed on stage. The cast were extremely tactile, they were constantly touching one another. Now, some of this was choreographed, but some seemed to be designed to comfort and reassure one another. Back patting, shoulder squeezing, supportive smiles, it was heart-warming to witness.

And it made sense to me. They are a company, a community. They are in it together, a collective with a common purpose: to provide a great show.

In life we are – it seems to me – far less comfortable with contact. As a student one of my lecturers showed us a video taken of crowds walking along a high…

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