What an extraordinary privilege. I am sitting in the rehearsal room when two leading actors meet their orchestra for the very first time to prepare for the world premiere of a piece which has a sense of Edith Sitwell/William Walton’s Façade.
I am, at times, concerned that emerging talent, especially actors, do not understand the nature of our business. They seem sometimes to forget how small and connected we all are.
The arts in the UK, across the UK and into every pocket of community and fringe, owes a great debt of gratitude to Lyn Gardner and her employers at the Guardian for believing in the importance of widespread reporting of emerging arts. Sadly that is about to change. Lyn continues to offer her wisdom and […]
My creative week has encompassed meetings with a playwright exploring 6 new projects which are each in commercial development, an inspiring concert with 4 cabaret bands and over 40 performers offering their celebration of contemporary music, a showcase of a cabaret artist on her way to Edinburgh and a reading of a new piece of community musical theatre which could be scheduled to have 20+ productions across the UK next year.
One scientist floated the heretical idea that science may not now, or ever, be able to answer all the questions – but with the arts they may be able to answer a few more.
Most of my 58-year-old contemporaries are either rich/famous from their creative decisions and brilliant positioning at the centre of the storm, or they have given up years ago and got a real job.
At a time when politicians may be talking about narrowing their focus to the local and the immediate, the chosen ones and sovereignty within borders, we in the arts are opening our arms.
This weekend, I was a guest at the launch of a new collaboration between the China based GengXing Culture Development Company, Ginger.cat, and the UK based Big Foot Arts Education. Big Foot work in schools to inspire young people through play and arts to enrich their educational learning.
Here I was watching the style of archaic, combative, misogynistic, blinkered, self-serving power politics which have helped to bring this country and the USA to a terrifying position of ungovernability which we are living through today.
I read an article on 18 January in the Evening Standard where Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, talked at Davos of the “crisis of the middle class”, exploring where current Brexit and populism-fueled politics were squeezing out the middle class. This generated three reactions for me – two relating to the arts and one to a cross-party government policy.
There’s a creakiness which pervades my creative bones at the start of the New Year. A time to catch up on emails, read a load of assignment submissions from producers, re-arrange the diary with meetings which were planned for “must meet after Christmas”, and then see where my own inspiration is going to come from.
Helping people – particularly theatremakers – set goals is my job. No, it isn’t…My job is helping people, including myself, achieve desires (to use David Whyte’s preferred word), ambitions or goals.
Firstly may I wish you, dear reader, the most harmonious, peaceful festive season you could wish for – and a new year which puts a spring in your step, and a spark in your creative spirit. This will be my last blog of the year, this week we have celebrated Kath’s mum’s 90th birthday in […]
The challenge for anyone creating a business model for an under 99-seat theatre in a town with a plethora of creative things to do, is to give the space a very special feel, a unique voice that can be heard by the right people amongst the noise of competing messages and invitations.
I loved the Michael Webborn and Daniel Finn musical when I saw it premiere at the Landor last year and whilst we wait patiently for a cast recording (I asked Santa again and I have been a good boy this year…), this felt like an ideal opportunity to revisit the show, appropriate too as Webborn is an alumnus of this very institution.
Hope and Despair flowed this week, and we have reminders of other global game-changers with the anniversary of Kristallnacht (despair), the Fall of the Berlin Wall (hope), Armistice Day (hope after despair), and even a reflection on our trans-atlantic differences with a new president appointed on 9/11.
Last term I sat in a rehearsal room led by one student as they began a “meet and greet”. A circle of chairs with a group of individuals who were gathered to get to know each other and then work on a play.
Those who read my blogs will know that I am near despair to see what a Grady can do to help 1500 young people who are literally packaged in containers awaiting dispatch, with no water or food from the government which is dispatching them to another government that does not want them.
I’m on a posh train, can’t find my seat, standing in floods of tears, too tired to walk the ten coaches or so to find my place. That feels a fitting end to a week where I have been in Calais to try and support my friends, daughter Anna and her partner Jonny as they weather the disinformation and mess which has come from the clearance of the Jungle.
For 100+ volunteers in the warehouse a few miles from the Jungle camp, it is business as usual (as I first type this on Day 2 of the evictions). My colleagues and I spent a day sorting donations from supermarkets, individuals, garlic farms, and traders. Every single tin or bag was gathered by type and put on pallets for future use.