"These Seats Are So Comfy"
Livecasting and the Notion of Comfortable Theatre
Taking up recent scholarship on audience etiquette (Sedgman 2018) and putting this in the context of twenty-first century theatre as the age of experiential spectatorship (Heim 2016), Heidi Liedke argues that theorisations of »comfort« form a fruitful node to think about the implications of the changes in audience experience in a theatre vs. the cinema. Combining her own experience of attending livecasts with audience responses to recent livecasts on social media (especially Twitter), Liedke's argument is based on an analysis of actual audience responses. The chapter suggests that the spectator's situation is one of constant negotiation between dis/comfort and work, comfort as a new form of (unpaid) work, and distraction and attention. Livecasting, therefore, allows us to comment on the social dimension of comfort in the context of contemporary performance and theatregoing practices. Liedke structures this dimension around four main axes: physical dis/comfort, visual or aesthetic dis/comfort, emotional dis/comfort and habitual dis/comfort.