Happy New Year, y'all. Ms TN is still motoring along in holiday mode, letting her other writerly selves out of the barouche for a run, but already I can hear the engines of 2009 warming up in the distance. I'll be back on the train at the end of the month, attempting to live better, work better and in general attain the holy grail of balance in this strange and disorderly life of mine. Wish me luck. I'll need it.
One thing I've decided is that I want to make more of a distinction between my Australian reviews and the various responses I write on this blog. They are really quite different things, even if they emerge from the same sensibility. So from now on I'll merely link to the reviews I write for the Australian unless, as I usually do on TN, I rewrite them to include the thoughts I had to leave out.
Herewith today's review of the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Grace by Mick Gordon and AC Grayling, a "theatrical essay" which opened at the Fairfax on Wednesday night. In summary, a well-made production of an artfully written play that drove me up the wall:
[Grace] is so consciously shaped to its intellectual purpose that I was possessed by a screaming tedium. I wanted to grasp Gordon and Grayling by their ties and ask them: why? Why didn't you just write an essay, instead of constructing this creaky illustrative plot? What, I want to know, is the point?
They might quite rightly retort that theatre can be anything you like, even this kind of un-theatre that reduces the possibilities of the stage to an animated lecture hall. Certainly, if you want a civilised debate about religion, this is the play for you. But if you want actual drama, you're better off reading Dostoevsky.