I was interested in seeing a play that had a limited engagement in Toronto and I had tried to make arrangements to see it with someone. As you get older people are busy with work and other relationships and it can be hard to find the time to get together. I had asked a few people to see if there were available but we weren’t able to make it work before the play ended. Since I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss out on seeing the play, I decided to go see it by myself.
This was the first time that I had gone to something like this by myself but I figured, why not?? It’s not often that people do things alone, from eating out in a restaurant, or going to the movies or on holiday. But what’s wrong with occasionally going solo?
I like going to the movies and there are always films that I want to watch that my friends have already seen or they aren’t interested in. Sometimes it can be too much of a hassle to try to arrange schedules and figure out a time that works for everyone. When it comes to a show, it might be sold out or the play will have ended by the time you can figure out a date that works for everyone. I’ve always been wary of going out on my own unless I have to but this year I decided that if there is a show or movie that I want to see I’ll go regardless.
Gaslight the Play
So, I ventured out to the theatre on a Saturday night in February to go see the play Gaslight. Gaslight revolves around the character of Bella Manningham, a Victorian housewife who thinks that she is slowly going insane. Her husband Jack laments her lapses of memory and flights of fancy and thinks that everything is a delusion. Jack is constantly leaving her alone and his disappearances are unexplained. Then one night a retired detective arrives and it appears that there may be a reason for all of the strange goings-on that are occurring around Bella.
Since I was by myself, I ended up having an aisle seat and as I waited for the play to start I was engaged in a conversation by the older man sitting beside me. He asked me if I knew anything about the play and while I didn’t know much I had an idea based on the title. I knew that there was an old movie with the same name but I had never seen it before. I had also heard of the term “gaslighting” as a form of mental abuse used to make someone question themselves and their sanity. Apart from striking up an unexpected conversation with a stranger it was nice to have some solitary time. Besides, once the play starts everyone is having a solitary experience. Going alone means that you don’t have anyone to discuss the show with on the way home but that’s fine.
Engaging in any solitary activity can seem a little daunting at first. It definitely can feel strange going out by yourself. We get so used to doing things with other people that when we have to be by yourself we rely on things to distract ourselves. We bring a book or we play on our cellphones. When you go to a play, you can’t distract yourself. There is a certain etiquette involved so taking out your cellphone would definitely be considered rude! Sometimes though, it can be nice to put down our phones and just be. Going by myself to see the show was a great experience and one that I will definitely do again.