Ladies and gentlemen of the audience: what is your verdict?

Audience members get to vote in courtroom dramas which pit our need for entertainment against a range of contemporary legal dilemmas.

Image: Please Continue (Hamlet). Photo by Magali Girardin

From Q & A to reality television, encouraging audiences to interact with, vote on, or ‘like’ a work on social media has become de rigueur in contemporary entertainment. Nor are the performing arts immune to this trend.

‘There is a real desire for audiences to move from observers to being active participants, everywhere. I think we all, both as audiences and as theatre presenters or theatre-makers, we want the audience to be active in the process,’ explains Jonathan Holloway, Artistic Director of Melbourne Festival.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts