The theatre is the grand stage where you can witness true artistic greatness. Whether you wish to watch a Shakespeare play, a hit musical, the opera, or simply a concert, the tradition of a revered venue adds to the all-around experience. The scope of events hosted by theaters is not just limited to the arts.
As did you know that high-level sport is still played in theaters? Two of the leading sports in the United Kingdom play their signature events in theatres. Snooker’s World Championship and Darts’ World Championship are both staged in theaters where hundreds of fans pack into the venues to provide a different atmosphere from the norm.
Swap out stars from the world of theatre and music for Ronnie O’Sullivan and Michael van Gerwen. There is still a great demand to see the events, especially stars such as O’Sullivan, who is again backed in the snooker odds at +400 to win the World Championship for the eighth time at the Crucible Theatre.
Playing inside a theatre seems to bring out the best in O’Sullivan more than most players, living up to the artistic ambiance. It brings a unique feel to sports not seen elsewhere in the world for major events. There is a quiet dignity about the snooker that is mostly played in silence, compared to the rowdy affair that darts can become almost akin to a football match. It provides a different feel from your usual sporting event while offering the same level of entertainment.
From the point of the venue, it does not lose its appeal of the craft of the arts due to the skill and expertise of the players involved. There are truly special talents at work in both disciplines that have delighted spectators for a number of years. Rather than a song or a monologue, you can see O’Sullivan march around the table with his cue displaying a brilliance that has rarely been seen before in the sport.
The Englishman relishes the occasion of the bright lights of the Crucible Theatre. There have been a number of incredibly talented players that have won multiple crowns at the Sheffield venue, but few command an audience similar to that of what you would see from a musical or a play.
O’Sullivan at the peak of his powers is box-office entertainment, always giving the crowd what they want. The next generation of players is doing their utmost to match him for entertainment, with Judd Trump among others bringing out their collection of tricks. It has almost become a magic act with a competitive edge to see which player can produce the most mesmeric shot of the tournament.
Darts follows the same principle. The pageantry of the event starts when both players are greeted like gladiators heading to a ring in venues like Alexandra Palace. It does not stop throughout the contest before the winner is confirmed. Darts follows more of the line of the British pantomime, where heroes are cheered and villains are jeered. It’s all part of the fun but is rarely matched for atmosphere around the sporting world. Each player knows how to play their part to perfection along with the additional pressure of chasing a title.
It’s unique and it’s why these niche sports continue to hold a special place in the sporting calendar.