Being Gilled ~ theatre notes

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Being Gilled

Mr Raymond Gill, the esteemed arts editor of The Age, often gives the impression that he would rather be doing something else. Anything else.

His jaundiced views on the arts have exercised him on several occasions - this heavy-handed satire for example, rather reminiscent of Andrew Bolt, of those chardonnay-sipping elitist Europhiles who infest the arts with their poncy accents and pretentious attitudes, and who make him wish that he were shopping instead. But today it seems that his animus stems from the fact that these elites, or at least the performing branches of them, aren't, well, elite enough.

While the many good people inhabiting the worlds of theatre, dance and music do their best, there's only so much attention they can get when they rely on government funding and a meagre box office for their bread and butter.

These poor wretches are working away in woolly, moth-eaten jumpers in draughty rehearsal rooms and mice-infested mechanics institutes - and that's only those who are actually talented and/or lucky enough to have a gig.

And when their work is ready to be presented to the public they get to show it in draughty theatres and mice-infested mechanics' institutes to opening night audiences dressed in woolly, moth-eaten jumpers who gather at post-show celebrations to eat bulk-buy frozen spring rolls, washed down with plastic tumblers quarter-filled with Jacob's Creek.
One wonders whether The Age's arts editor is getting his invites to the Art Centre or to the Malthouse, which these days has a funky new bar and a good wine list. And perhaps he could begin attending the mice-infested garrets of visual artists not fortunate enough to get to the Biennale...


dan said...

Yes, I agree. I read that 'witty' little piece he wrote and wondered if perhaps the space couldn't have been used more productively. Perhaps another review, which may bolster the audience numbers of one of those dreary shows playing in some 'mice-infested mechanics hall'. Then just maybe they could afford a more extensive wine selection for him to drink for free, should he pull himself away from watching 'Sex in the City'.
It's odd to think that people who actually are interested in reading the arts pages would be interested in his slag-off aimed toward their interest/profession. I'm sure you wouldn't find an editorial piece in the sports section elaborating on what a bunch of thick-skulled rapists footballers are...

Ben Ellis said...

Yes, Alison and Dan. Gill's piece is all about setting up that joke, "Why don't theatre agents have great haircuts?" Without resorting to clich├ęs about withered, cynical, destructive hack editors, I will just say this: he holds the arts in contempt and he is beneath it.