Barrie Rutter has criticised the use of microphones by actors on stage, labelling it “the monster of today’s theatre”.
The actor and former Northern Broadsides artistic director also condemned the increasing prominence of film and tv technology on stage.
He was speaking as part of a panel at an event at Soho Theatre in London to mark a new partnership between Drama Studio London and University of West London.
“The monster in today’s theatre is all the film techniques,” Rutter said.
“I don’t want to go to the Olivier Theatre and see somebody [make a tiny gesture] and you can hear them perfectly in the back row because they have a bloody head mic on.
“I want to see acting in a big room and I don’t care that people on the front row might get it too loud. You sit in the worst seats and then tell me whose performance you’re grateful for.”
Rutter argued he did not want a technical desk “adjusting how successful [he is] or not to an audience”.
He said: “I loathe that more and more technology from the film and television world [is coming] on to the theatre stage.
“It used to be just the voice. You can’t move now for fucking microphones.”
Rutter added that he thinks the profession should “call it out” more.
Journalist Michael Billington, who was chairing the panel discussion, added: “Even in fringe theatres now I’ve noticed actors being miced-up, it’s very strange.”