Blog report ~ theatre notes

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Blog report

No reviews this week - I'm taking it a bit easy, due to recent ill health. But a couple of big shows coming up for next week's blog - Malthouse artistic director Michael Kantor's ambitious double bill of Patrick White's The Ham Funeral and Tom Wright's adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Journal of a Plague Year, with an exciting ensemble cast (featuring Robert Menzies, Dan Spielman and Julie Forsyth). This is the first taste of what the revamped Malthouse Theatre might be like. And show No. 2 is Hannie Rayson's play, Two Brothers, opening this week at the Melbourne Theatre Company with Gary McDonald and Nicholas Eadie. Today it was pre-emptively branded a "vomit of smug hate" by that well known arts connoisseur Andrew Bolt - exciting times indeed. Full TN reports next week.

And also some news - I have been asked to be a member of the Malthouse Theatre's (formerly Playbox) Artistic Counsel for 2005 (no, no spelling mistake in "counsel" - the emphasis is on the verb). This is a 10-member advisory panel coordinated by the Malthouse dramaturge Maryanne Lynch that is drawn from Melbourne's artistic community - both practising artists and commentators. Members will attend Malthouse shows and then proffer their full and frank opinions at the end of each season. These responses will then be folded into the Malthouse's artistic report to the Australia Council as part of its self assessment.

This is right up my alley, and I see no conflict of interest with my work on the blog, which from the start has been about initiating and participating in a conversation with the theatre and theatre practitioners. After Michael Kantor directed my play Lenz for the 1996 Melbourne Arts Festival, when he and I had a very serious artistic disagreement, he can be in no doubt that I don't pull my punches in my responses; and I think the creation of the Artistic Counsel, and its brief, is an excellent sign of a desire for open and honest dialogue. This can only be good; though I reckon the jury will be out on the impact and success of the changes at the Malthouse for at least a year.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alison

Congrats on being asked by Malthouse to be on the counsel. It's entirely deserved and your voice will be invaluable.

Well done.


Alison Croggon said...

Thanks, Dan! Much appreciated.