Cake and champagne ~ theatre notes

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cake and champagne

Theatre Notes celebrates its second birthday this month: it was in June 2004 that my lightbulb moment happened and I started blogging theatre. Since then, the archive has built up reviews of almost 100 shows, which constitutes a record, if necessarily partial, of Melbourne theatre over the past two years. And I've also blogged various meditations on this and that. That's quite a lot of theatre, and quite a lot of writing.

The blog's certainly evolved since I began. And readership has been steadily growing, especially in the past six months. In the past year we've had 27,990 unique visitors, an average of 75 visitors a day, although since the beginning of this year that weekly average has doubled to between 145 to 220 visitors per day. TN readers are from all over the place: mainly Australia (around 60 per cent), and around a third from the US, with rest from a miscellany of different countries - the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Lithuania - (hello, Bolivia!) Then there are all the people who tell me they print out the reviews and share them around. And that doesn't count the readers at State of the Arts, where my reviews are, as it were, reprinted: I don't know what the stats are for them, but their e-letter goes out to around 10,000 people every week. Yes sirree, somebody's reading us. Even better, people are using the comments, and there have been some lively and interesting discusssions, such as these recent comments on independent theatre.

I have a largish novel to write in the second half of this year, so will have to scale back a bit - more than two shows a week is impossible to handle here, though I hate turning people down. But TN is going to be around for a while yet. My thanks to everyone - readers and theatre artists and companies - who make it all possible. And thanks especially to those who have written me so many supportive emails; you make me feel it's all worthwhile. Prost!

18 comments:

George said...

Ah, well -- a cupcake with two candles in it for you and TN. And many more to come, I hope.

And needless to say what an important, passionate, thoughtful, brilliant addition you've made to our clubhouse, and if I'm the first to say this I won't be the last. It wouldn't be the same without you. And I hope the novel, terrific as I'm sure it'll be, doesn't require you to scale back too much.

Alison Croggon said...

Thank you, George - that means a lot coming from you! I actually started TN in part because I was writing a novel - I felt I was manacled to my desk, and going to the theatre got me out of the house...I just need to keep the work down to (relatively) sane levels, compatible with having a life as well. Blogs can be monsters that eat you up. But I'm sure you know all about that.

Abe Pogos said...

Happy Birthday TN,

I'd like to say something nice about you, Alison, but as a playwright that would be wrong. Praising a critic would be defying some divine law and I'm sure the world would end.

But I will say this much...sometimes I agree with you.

(This is highest praise I can offer without the risk of being struck down by lightn—aargh!!!...)

MattJ said...

Happy Birthday Allison/Theatre Notes! This community would not be the same without you and Theatre Notes.

Raising a glass overseas...

Alison Croggon said...

Extravagant (or even modest) praise, especially of the sacriligious variety, is always most deeply appreciated, Abe. If you like, you can just think of me as a talkative poet, and maybe thus avoid divine bolts of lightning...

And thank you too, Matt! Perhaps one day, before too many other birthdays have passed, I'll make it over there, and we can share more than a virtual tipple.

Freeman said...

Happy Birthday Theatre Notes. What would blogland be like if you and I didn't have a few little go-arounds?

I wonder if an insider way to wish someone well on writing a fantasy novel is "Keep your dwarves at a high level?"

Either way, happy birthday! You're invaluable to the conversations! Enjoy writing!

Mark said...

Good luck with everything Alison and keep up the great work.

Ben Ellis said...

Alison, I have much to thank you and your blogging for, so three cheers and many "blows" of bubbly stuff!

Ian W. Hill said...

Congratulations, Alison!

Brooklyn sends its love and appreciation.

Alison Croggon said...

Aw shucks, I'm doing laps in the milk of human kindness ... Thanks all you lovely Brooklynites, and Ben. It's a shame that organising a party would cost so much in airfares.

P'tit Boo said...

Alison !
Well you know how happy i am to have come across you.
when shall we tackle Scott again ?
He seems to be so mellow...

;)

Alison Croggon said...

You're wicked, Boo. Though I notice Scott is pre-empting us - he suggests that anyone who disagrees with him should do so on their own blogs!!

Nazid said...

Hello Alison,
Congratulations on reaching another milestone! Remember me? Probably not, I'm the guy that wrote that rather embarrassing email about how you inspired me to start writing again...ohhh I feel a bit sick at the thought of how gushing I must have seemed but - I've been an avid reader of your blog and its kept me 'plugged' in to the theatre scene here in Melbourne whilst I eke out an anonymous existence in suburbia..viva la Theatre Notes!

Alison Croggon said...

Hi Nazid - yes, of course I remember, and not because it was embarrassing, but because I was very moved by what you said. I hope to God I answered - I've got a bit behind on my correspondence lately - and thank you!

Nazid said...

Hi Alison,
Yes of course you answered, graciously too and I felt you blushing from the email...anyway. Keep up the good work, your work ethic and your blog continue to inspire.

Chris Boyd said...

I'm at a loss... do I wish the poet "hock and soda water" (without a trace of 'Byrony') or do I "belch" and bid her "cakes and ale"?!!

And let me bugger the quotation up, completely, in a toast: Thou dost think... and thou art virtuous! (And I defy any man to say I am out o' tune or that I lie!)

You are still theonly theatre critic in town, Alison. Here's to many more years of monstrous hunger.

Alison Croggon said...

Actually, I'm rather fond of whiskey, or a good martini...

Thanks, Chris. At this rate my vanity will become truly monstrous...

Walsh said...

hi alison

("Praising a critic would be defying some divine law and I'm sure the world would end."..
right on abe)

but congrats anyway- love yer blog!

richard higgins