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Best of This Week's Theatre Blogs - 1 Oct 2009

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This week there was chance to peek into a conversation between theatre makers as Chris Goode blogged a series of emails exchanged between himself and Julia Lee Barkley of Apocryphal Theatre. Spanning several emails the resulting blog dealt with the issue of whether the expectation of failure is explicitly built into new work - and why productions should aim beyond this.

Meanwhile, Jason Ferguson decided to address the absense of a UK-based blog which addresses theatre in the manner that blogs like Producer's Perspective do in New York. After tackling pantomime Ferguson turned his thoughts to the difference between funding systems in America and the UK - and what each might learn from the other.

For August Schulenburg it was a call for an Indie theatre repertory that ignited discussion - including the pressing need to extend runs of productions that might not have the lifespan they deserve.

Elsewhere Gratuitous Violins debated if 90 minutes is the perfect length for a play and, if that was all starting to sound a bit heavy, Steve on Broadway looked back at the 66 Hamlets which have so far graced Broadway - not that any of it managed to convince Steve that he wasn't going to fall asleep during Jude Law's moment as Hamlet number 66.

Thompson's Bank of Communicable Desire, Chris Goode - Best Point For Reception

"When I was starting out, I was desperate for a theatre that was driven by sincerity, because the prevailing models in British experimental theatre --  which basically meant Forced Entertainment and their progeny -- were so mired in (not, I think, cynicism but) a kind of stultified irony, where you couldn't just "do" beautiful or lyrical or ambitious, it located those qualities in disguise inside carefully pitched performances of failure and mediocrity".

That Damn Yankee, Jason Ferguson  - How is London theatre funded?

"Think of the Arts Council as the National Endowment for the Arts but with a lot more money and power. If the Arts Council decides to pull money from the English National Opera, then the English National Opera is probably going to cease to exist."

Flux Theatre Ensemble, August Schulenburg - Call for indie theatre repertory

"Not only would worthy Indie theatre productions gain an extended life, but supported by the other shows, they would not need to prove immediately profitable. They would get the time they need to grow the audience they deserve."

Gratuitous ViolinsIs 90 minutes theatre's holy grail?

"I realize that not everyone is me, and attention spans are shorter these days. If people are seeing an evening performance and they have to get to work the next day, they want to get home at a reasonable hour. If I'm at home and not in New York City on vacation, 90 minutes looks more attractive."

Steve on Broadway - Hamlet 66 and Counting

"Personally, I've only seen Hamlet performed once on stage, and tedium set in quite quickly. Same went for my experience in watching the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 1948, even with the late, great Laurence Olivier as the prince. So while I am sincerely looking forward to seeing Grandage's interpretation of this work, I'll go in with just a little trepidation as I normally do whenever I see Shakespeare".


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