Oh dear... ~ theatre notes

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh dear...

This morning Ms TN has some strange symptoms - sensation of a small animal decomposing overnight in one's mouth, an aversion to light, etc etc. They might indicate vampirism, but I blame the wine at the Spiegeltent. Along with a good proportion of the theatre community, I attended La Mama's 40th Birthday Party last night, and a rambunctious and enjoyable affair it was, too.

Vague memories swim back - Wes Snelling singing 99 Balloons, Caroline Connors dressed up as a Christmas tree, my 12 year old son chatting up the evening's MC, Julia Zemiro, Rockwiz host but - of course - best known to TN readers as a rather superb Lady Macbeth. (He really did buttonhole her, astonishing the lot of us and eliciting much envy from his older brother. Ms Zemiro was charming. I think he's now officially in love). La Mama and its artistic director Liz Jones has a lot to celebrate: it's been a crisis year for this much-loved Melbourne institution, and they've not only come through, but come through stronger. I raise my glass - rather shakily - to Liz Jones and her loyal and hardworking team. As I remember through the spots, I raised it rather often last night. Glasses can't be raised often enough. La Mama is special, and we're lucky to have it.

It was, inevitably, also a de facto post-election party. Being packed with Brunswick arts extremists, it would have been hard to find a single person not delirious with relief at the defeat of the Howard Government. However, Ms TN had a couple of sober moments before she got to the Spiegeltent, and wrote a piece for the Guardian's theatre blog on government arts policies, up there today, in which she expresses her scepticism on Labor's approach to the arts. (I made the front page, just under George Monbiot! Oh gosh! The headline, I point out, is not mine own...)

PS: This scepticism reinforced rather than otherwise by the strange behaviour of Arts Queensland - a Labor State, remember -which supposedly is seeking to make "the arts sector more commercial and self-reliant" and has been causing huge problems for a number of its most notable organisations, including the acclaimed Elision Ensemble. H/t: Supernaut.

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