Estelle Morris's ten unanswerable questions in the arts
Here, in no particular order - and with tongue partly in cheek - are my ten unanswerable questions i
1 Why is it that, when you go to the theatre in the US, you are presented with an informative and well-presented playbill absolutely free, while here you pay through the nose for a programme with more pages of adverts than anything else?
2 And how can First Division football clubs produce bigger and better programmes - sometimes twice a week - for a fraction of the cover price of those for most West End theatre productions, which remain the same for the duration of the play's run?
3 Is there any item anywhere else in the consumer retail sector with a higher price mark-up than a small carton of cinema popcorn?
4 And in what sense of the word "small" can that carton be so described?
5 Staying with food, when people take along boiled sweets to keep away their coughs in the concert hall, why do they choose the sort with crinkly wrappers that take a (noisy) eternity to unwrap?
6 Why, in the 21st century, are there still so few ladies' loos in our theatres and concert halls?
7 Why is it perfectly possible - indeed, expected - for artworks in our permanent collections to have excellent, explanatory labels, but when it comes to contemporary art in temporary - and charging - exhibitions, the best you can hope for is an inexplicable title, and that's it?
8 Whatever happened to the "B" picture at the cinema?
9 Or Saturday-morning pictures for children?
10 And finally, why can't art galleries provide more - and more comfortable - seating for their visitors to appreciate the work on show? The best of the visual arts need to be savoured, not gobbled up like a drive-thru takeaway.
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