Whoever comes are the right people... but if you weren't there you missed a treat!
This weekend was the eight year of an annual gathering called Devoted and Disgruntled, which uses Open Space to host a meeting exploring anything and everything which needs to be debated by those present on the importance of theatre and the arts in the UK and beyond.
There were, I guess, 300 people there ranging from theatre producers, arts council officers, theatre companies, artistic directors, performers, administrators and creative champions of the arts, new work, classics, and all forms of theatre.
You can follow more on devotedanddisgruntled.com, a site which also features the accumulated 600 reports from the 2012 DandD Roadshow as well as the last 2 years of D&D London in January. It is a treasure trove of what’s hot, what’s keeping people devoted, what people are dreaming of aspiring to, and what’s making people deeply disgruntled.
It's not just talk – there is art and video created. There are moments through the three days when discussion turns to lemon jousting, or chanting, or just gentle playing with children to remember our own inner child.
It's not just talk – there is real action flowing from many of the sessions, and real connections made by individuals who will, in weeks and months to come, join together to make work or right a wrong.
One of the principles of Open Space is “whoever comes are the right people”. There’s no point wishing x or y or z had been there. But now is the time to fire up people’s interest in the existence of DandD, to encourage any reader of Whatsonstage.com to check it out if they care passionately about what is happening at the edges of the debate... the new, the exciting, the edgy, the non-existent.
I could only be there for one day this year, and followed much more of the debate online. I held my own session mid-way through DandD from my home, calling in a topic, and holding a fascinating 90 minute discussion with six colleagues on a global arts commission project for Olympics 2020. We used Twitter and then the report has been entered into the DandD website and everyone can read it, comment on it, and maybe help me with StoryMusic2020.
The moment the dates are announced for January 2014 I will mark my diary out-of-office for four days – three at DandD in London, and one further day to read reports, take actions, and meet to further projects.
My thanks to so many people who inspired me in the day I was there, and who have inspired me with their reports on sessions I couldn't attend, and who continue to inspire me to be happy on the edge of theatre. Thank you Improbable Theatre for making DandD happen.
Come to the edge of theatre... the view is terrific.