Festival season ~ theatre notes

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Festival season

My feature on what arts festivals mean in our culture is in today's Australian. It gave me a chance to do some happy reminiscing:

These shows changed how I saw the world and how I think about it. And as a result, they changed the way I act. I can see the influence of these artists in countless tiny ways in the theatre that I encounter in Melbourne.

Multiply those individual experiences by millions of festivalgoers over several decades, and that's a big cumulative effect. It's also untraceable: a stimulus might bear fruit decades later, in ways that no one can foresee or quantify.

Yeah, ok, that's how I think art works in general.

Meanwhile, the year is beginning to stretch and turn its scary head me-wards, and the blog will be swinging into slow (but undeniably graceful) action very soon. From now on I'm going to use Twitter to post interesting links, brainless chatter, personal confessions and witty observations on issues of import. This is because it stems my natural loquacity, thus permitting me to direct it in more financially rewarding directions. You can find my Twits at twitter.com/alisoncroggon.


tom said...


Happy New Year blah etc!

Did you see Hamlet? Will you be writing about it?

So good!

Alison Croggon said...

You too, Tom! I wish I were seeing Hamlet. I couldn't justify the extravagance. Yes, even me.

rob m said...

Just thought I'd mention Alison that Tadeuz Kantor was the other hugely influential Anthony Steel import during those halcyon festival years

Alison Croggon said...

Hi Rob M - god yes, Kantor. The Steel years were before my time, alas, although I did see a Kantor production in Melbourne which came - I think - after his death. I'm sure I've missed, through oversight or lack of space, many others - it would be fascinating if people could list them.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry, Alison - I'm sure the ripples of Hamlet's artistic influence will be hitting you soon, considering the size of Meyrick's pond (have you got your raincoat handy?). But also, I don't think you're missing much - if money were no object, I would've flown here from Melbourne to see Poppea, but I can't say the same about Hamlet (although most of the critical establishment in Sydney seems to be against me on this one, except for one letter to the editor in the SMH).

One question, though. This Mahabharata epic - was it all shown in one day? I was trying to remember but I was only 1 at the time (and in Sydney).

Alison Croggon said...

I'm sorry I won't see it, all the same. I keep sternly telling myself that I can't be ubiquitous, sinc ethat's both impossible and ridiculous. But still.

I didn't see The Mahabharata either, although I did watch the excellent tv performance on SBS a year or so later. Yes, it was performed in one go of, I think, around nine hours.

Anonymous said...

Not so much "in one day" as in one night, dusk to dawn. :-)

C de la B

Anonymous said...

For the record, Yumi came to Australia with Dai Rakuda Kan. I don't recall Sankai Juku (a much milder kind of Butoh) coming to Melbourne. They toured their egg show to Adelaide.


Alison Croggon said...

Sheeit. Thanks CB for pointing out the error, but sadly I can't correct the Oz. You're perfectly correct: I hang my head in shame, especially as I knew better. I saw Dai Rakuda Kan when they came out here and wrote about Yumi Umiumare in my review of En Trance.

I hate making stupid mistakes, and here have no choice but to take it womanfully on the chin. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, ash and dust in hair, &c.