Blogosphere alerts ~ theatre notes

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Blogosphere alerts

It's all happening in the theatre blogosphere. First of all, my estimable colleague Chris Boyd has kicked off his own theatre review blog, The Morning After: Performing Arts in Australia, with a couple of reviews of Cheek by Jowl and Robert Lepage at the Sydney Festival, so do check it out.

And the question of the theatre audience is the topic du jour in the US, where the blogsters are all arguing hammer and tongs. It was indirectly sparked by my posting the Foreman quote, which led to George Hunka over at Superfluities posting a quote from my essay on Howard Barker. In response to Scott Walters at Theatre Ideas agreeing with Barker, but with a caveat, George posted this passionate response, where he says in part:

Some audience members see ... difficult work as an attack, as perhaps they should, since it tells them that their conception of the world isn't theirs but a reflection of something manufactured for them to keep them asleep. Nobody, especially those who are confident in their self-indulgent belief that they know how the world works, wants to hear that. Others, seeing the same show, won't see it as an attack at all, but will be open-minded enough to see it as an invitation to a new vision: their own. Neither Foreman nor Barker wants the audience to think like them, to feel like them, but wants them to think and feel for themselves, individually, to find liberation in confronting their own darkest depths. The dramatist is a metaphor in his or her own work, a metaphor for individual perception, as the lyric voice serves in his or her own poetry. It is an invitation to profound, wrenching, transformative, painful change. As somebody once said about omelets and eggs, you can't make an epiphany without shattering a world.

Scott Walters responds here with a long and interesting post, and Matt Freeman on his Theatre and Politics blog here. And some lively discussion continues in the comments... all in all, it makes for a fascinating conversation.

1 comment:

Scott Walters said...

I love it when we have a conversation. Thanks for starting the ball rolling!