Sunday night ~ theatre notes

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday night

'Twas the night before Monday, and all through the house, the only thing stirring was Alison's mouse. Or so quoth the poet, poets having leave to lie when quothing. (As you no doubt know, it's called Poetic Licence, and means that outrageous untruths about dragons, the interior design of the heart or swine flu are permissible in the interests of Higher Things. The CIA has a similar licence, but uses it to less aesthetically pleasing effect. This is why Plato thought poets ought to be tarred, feathered and run out of town, since in his view it was much better to leave lying to the real professionals rather than to disreputable jongleurs. And quite right too).

Anyway, it's a pitch-black Sunday evening in the depths of a Melbourne winter, and the mouse has been busy, scurrying over some interesting new blogs. I'll list some that have caught my eye recently (in strict alphabetical order, to save my getting confused). Check 'em out.

ArtKritique: the "secret life" of John Matthews , marketing expert. Eclectic blog commenting on all sorts of artforms, including theatre.

Actual/Ideal: Ming Zhu-Hii's new blog. Many of you will remember Mink Tails. This one is a fascinating trek through Ming's mind.

Captain's B'log: White Whale Theatre talking about Everything. Oh, and theatre too.

Cluster: A new blog for playwrights, begun by Joanna Erskine. The idea is for playwrights, usually solitary types, to "discuss, debate critique, create, inspire, connect". It's started off with a bang, with some wonderful quotes from Augusto Boal.

Neandellus: My latest must-read review blog. Neandellus gets out and about with his Platonic friends and does a bit of philosophising about theatre.

The Perf: Review blog kept by two University of Wollongong students, Simon and Mark. Full of sharp and perceptive stuff.

Performance Monkey: Great blog kept by UK theatre critic (Sunday Times, Literary Review) David Jays. Always well worth reading.

Tony Reck 21C: Commentary blog including a lot of reviews of local theatre.

What with old faves like Guerilla Semiotics (Jana Perkovic, who is getting better and better), David Williams at Compromise is our business (check out the fascinating interview with Andrew Morrish on improvisation), Superfluities Redux (my old mate George Hunka in New York, steadily keeping the aesthetic flame burning white hot) and Thompson's Bank of Communicable Desire - where UK theatre artist Chris Goode recently posted one of the most impassioned thinkings about theatre I have read, beginning: "Another word for theatre is desire" - you'll find plenty of inspiring reading for a mere flick of your mouse's whiskers. Not to mention the many other sites on the TN blogroll. (Which I promise I will update, any day now.)

I'd also like to draw your attention to a couple of interesting recent posts. Both, in different ways, are about sex. 7-On Playwrights examines the recent Belvoir St season which is, not untypically, very light on women directors and features a total absence of female writers. Where, 7-On wants to know, are the wunderkind female directors? The male kinder, after all, pop up like meerkats all over the prairie. It's a good question.

And in the Guardian, playwright Wallace Shawn writes about why he writes about sex. It's a subversive document: "...perhaps it would be a good thing if people saw themselves as a part of nature, connected to the environment in which they live. Sex can be a very humbling, equalising force. It's often been noted that naked people do not wear medals, and weapons are forbidden inside the pleasure garden. When the sexuality of the terrifying people we call "our leaders" is for some reason revealed, they lose some of their power - sometimes all of it - because we're reminded (and strangely, we need reminding) that they are merely creatures like the ordinary worm or beetle that creeps along at the edge of the pond. Sex really is a nation of its own."

Enjoy it all. I'm off to find the Pierian Spring, although for some reason it doesn't come up on google maps. Ooroo!


Anonymous said...

The Cluster link isn't working.

... should get you there.

George Hunka said...

Many thanks for the link, Alison. And happy hunting!

Jana said...

What a lovely thing to say! Thanks, I think you're getting better and better too ;p

Alison Croggon said...

That pesky broken link is now fixed. My pleasure Jana and George!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Alison!!

David said...

Alison, I'm blushing - thanks so much. (Unless it was a sign of unintentional loopiness...). Enjoy your other life.

David Mence said...

Hi Alison,

Thanks heaps for posting the link to our blog. The spike in traffic was huge!

Thought you might also be interested in the online discussion of cross-racial casting being hosted by Red Stitch (

All the best

White Whale Theatre