Another week, another few thousand words... ~ theatre notes

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Another week, another few thousand words...

Ms TN pushed her delicate nose right onto the grindstone this week (hey, it's hard doing all that heavy-duty ratiocination), but for all the nasal flattening I'm still behind the eightball. I've yet to write about Progress and Melancholy, which I caught on one of its final nights, or Hayloft's BC, which opened at Full Tilt last Wednesday (as I dutifully twitted, a curate's egg but well worth seeing). And on Thursday I saw Meryl Tankard's Oracle at the Malthouse (closing Sunday), which features a performance by Paul White that rewrites the laws of gravity.

I will write about all these events, but I fear this week time is against me. This weekend I am flying up to Sydney for the Belvoir St panel on women in theatre, which is attracting lots of media attention; especially after playwright Caleb Lewis withdrew from the Philip Parson's Young Playwrights Award to protest against its "politicisation" by the discussion. (The debate is this year's Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture, which is routinely presented at the same event as the award).

I'm hoping for an enlightening and open debate that excavates some of the reasons why gender politics in theatre has become such a problem. The figures - in our main stage culture, at least - are brutally clear, but that doesn't mean that identifying the causes and ways of dealing with it are simple. Looking forward to seeing some of you there.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alison - do you know if there will be a recording or a transcript of the panel discussion.

Alison Croggon said...

I believe it will be recorded.

Gilligan said...

No one has pointed it out yet, so I thought I might:

Red Stitch has announced their first season for 2010 (4 productions) and they are all going to be directed by women.

Interesting to see what people think. Leadership? Kneejerk? Are these four women the best people for the jobs? Have other, more deserving, female directors been overlooked? Have better male directors been overlooked?

In any case, it's certainly a pretty clear response to the issue by Red Stitch.

Personally, I think Red Stitch will play a huge part in getting female directors onto the main stages of Melbourne, as their theatre is a slightly edgier version of what MTC do. Also, Sam Strong will be the only new director in MTC's mainstage season next year, and we know exactly why he got that gig- Red Sky Morning. I think the pathway of a director to getting a gig at a mainstage company has been largely overlooked in the whole discussion.

So I say congrats to Red Stitch.

Anna said...

I didn't know the phrase "a curate's egg" until yout tweet and this post, so had my mother with an encyclopedia for a mind explain. Wikipedia also helped! So, do you mean that BC was spoiled, or that it was a little redeemed by some good parts? Makes me think about how sometimes there are plays/films/books etc that have been absolutely ruined by an aspect that takes away from the excellent parts. Like a play I saw recently which I would have really loved if only one of the actors wasn't so terrible. It was almost the only thing my friends and I could talk about afterwards!

The other thing is that I wanted to draw your attention (and others') to a blog discussion where David Berthold, former AD of Griffin and current AD of La Boite, contributes thoughtfully on the subject of women in theatre - . You have to scroll far down to get to his post but it's definitely worth reading.

James Waites said...

I had to be in Melbourne while you were in Sydney - fascinated to know how Belvoir meeting went xxx