Unless you live in a world without television, internet, mobile and general word of mouth, then you’ll have at least heard of smash TV shows The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

Chances are you’re addicted to one (or both) of them and pride yourself on your ability to recite the entire Lannister family tree or remember exactly when those key players departed.

But super-fan or not, you’ll certainly be aware that such masterpieces are more than a touch gory. In fact, they’re down right gruesome. From missing body parts to gruesome beheadings (and other hacking off of limbs), the latest must-watch shows thrive on their outrageousness.

If you’ve ever had a friend throw-up watching a particularly gory episode of Game of Thrones (yet carry on watching – obviously) then you’ll understand exactly what we’re being subjected to – and it’s becoming normal.

An episode of said shows without a generous slice of gore would actually rather disappoint us.

How times have changed…

Back when Psycho first hit cinema screens (1960), it was revolutionary. For one the leading actress, Janet Leigh, was filmed wearing a bra, a completely new concept for screen in the 1960s. Aside from the violence and the nudity, the filming of a flushing toilet was also rather shocking, having never appeared on TV or film in the US!

Fast forward to 2014 and we’re watching shows which fail to keep anything covered up. Have our acceptance levels changed? Definitely. Has our ability to process blood, violence and errant body parts without squirming increased? Probably, but maybe that’s because the safety of the HD screen is making it just tolerable.

Bring this sort of gore to theatre and the fact that it isn’t real doesn’t placate us like it does on TV.

This morning it was revealed that Titus Andronicus, currently showing at the Globe, is causing theatregoers to keel over at the site of the amount of blood in the play. With 14 deaths throughout the play, there’s a lot of violence for audiences to sit through.

Director Lucy Bailey explained that people take the fake blood at face value. When they begin to see blood coming out of an actor’s mouth they struggle to understand how it got there and consequently understand it as real at that moment.

At a recent play with a smidgen of blood, I found myself coming across rather faint, yet not feeling queasy during a recent Game of Thrones torture scene. Despite the fact that our squeamishness has slowly been dampened, there’s something real and raw about the theatre which reverts us all back to the shocked, now ‘prudish’ attitudes seen when risqué films and television first began to break on to the scene.

This is a rather lovely notion in an age where we all barely bat an eyelid at the most gory scene on our favourite shows. Clearly we aren’t all as concrete as our creeping acceptance of the gruesome has led us to believe.

That said though, most of the people who have fainted at the play have been standing. Given that most of us will watch Hannibal, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones from the comfort of our couches, perhaps we would be weaker at the knees if we didn’t have the safety of a brew and an armchair…

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