Chris Grady: Something old becomes something new
Max Stafford-Clark described reviving Our Country's Good as having "all the more reason to do it now". His masterful new production of the work he originally commissioned from Timberlake Wertenbaker for the Royal Court in 1988 speaks to a new audience as a piece of theatre which is "an expression of civilisation" .
I so hope some of the cabinet will go to see it, or many from the DCMS so they can share their enjoyment of fine writing, fine acting, and fine use of the skills of subsidised theatres when they are next talking to Maria Miller our Secretary of State for culture.
Tonight I see a tiny new company reviving Waiting For Lefty at the White Bear and last week I delighted in the revival of Salad Days at the Hammersmith Council-supported Riverside Studio. In each case the pieces are brought together through the passion and hidden subsidy of actors and creative's giving their services for virtually nothing. All three will bring joy/fascination to audiences. They will spend money in the bar. They will be engaged in a community activity. The arts will continue to feed the spirit and the soul.
Whilst most of my time is spent working with the new - new actors at Mountview; new cultural leaders at Anglia Ruskin University; new producers and creatives with my CGO surgeries; and new musicals with Stage Entertainment and MTN - I too am about to embark on a revival. I am working to bring to the stage a piece which has been lost for 30 years. I enter a young person's fringe world in slight trepidation as an old player. I can't say too much more yet except that I am delighted by the support I am already getting for moving from teacher/guide to pupil/producer.
Alongside celebrating and supporting new writers and new work, it will be wonderful to try to bring back to London audiences a piece I first saw when I was at the Plymouth Theatre Royal building site. I still have the album (big round plastic thing with grooves in) on my desk. I have a new script from the writer reworked. Now I set about ensuring the rights are in place and the creative team are ready. Then I need to find some very supportive fringe investors. I hope some of those I have worked with and supported over 30 years as this very old new producer connects with them for support.
Something old... something new... something special opening mid September... I hope!