Holding note ~ theatre notes

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Holding note

Although she is, in essence, the most retiring of violets, Ms TN has been gadding about town as if gads are going out of fashion. My final gad is tonight at the Wheeler Centre at 6.15pm, as people keep reminding me by brightly volunteering to help mop up the blood. I'm on a panel with playwright Stephen Sewell, director Julian Meyrick and Age critic Cameron Woodhead to discuss why theatre criticism "is failing us all". I expect I shall need a whiskey afterwards, preferably single malt, but mainly I'm hoping that my voice will be present and correct, as it's been a bit dodgy.

In fact, I lost my voice completely this weekend, which was dominated by the World Science Fiction Convention at the Exhibition Centre, my First Ever Con, where, among other things, I got to talk about Shakespeare, poetry, science fiction in the theatre and the impact of digital technologies on criticism. (Just like the rest of my life). Mere laryngitis didn't stop me, although at the end of Sunday I did have to cancel my last panel, a scholarly discussion on PL Travers and Mary Poppins. I was a wide-eyed noob, I frankly confess, and I loved being part of it.

At the Con, I met people who do nothing else except write novels. You know, I must be getting old. I suddenly can see myself wearing a floppy (or perhaps a flowery) straw hat and drifty layers of chiffon, snipping flowers and tending my herb garden and rushing back inside to write the next five hundred words, and not having six other deadlines as well... and the vision, I can tell you, is disturbingly attractive. Imagine not being constantly behind schedule, and scrambling to catch up, and just thinking about one thing!

Yet how can I give up the theatre? Even with all this extra activity, I saw two shows last week: Bell Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, directed with sublime comedy by Lee Lewis at the Victorian Arts Centre, and Stephanie Lake's first full-length dance work, Mix Tape, at Chunky Move. I was planning to write about them today, but frankly I'm a little tired: so allow me to recommend both, and perhaps I'll get down to it tomorrow. Mix Tape closes this Saturday, September 11, so hurry if you haven't booked already, and Twelfth Night a week later.


J-Lo said...

I was there last night, and look forward to hearing your reflections ... I'm not sure enough time was spent properly diagnosing "the problem" in question.

Geoffrey said...

I agree J-Lo, but I did go to Readings after La mama this evening and buy a copy of Walter Benjamin's "Illuminations" and "The Last Days of Socrates", the latter which I was compelled to read after seeing "Sappho". So The Wheeler Centre has been directly responsible for the sale of two books tonight. Which is kind of cool.

Geoffrey said...

As for the panel, and I write this with all due respect – Mr Sewell appeared at a complete loss and was just warming the seat.

Helen Lowe said...


I loved meeting you at Worldcon and your input into the two panels we shared together was fantastic (despite your being vocally challenged with "Eternal Stories")--and I know there are many others out there like me who would love more Alison Croggan novels. :-)

Alison Croggon said...

Many thanks Helen - it was a mutual pleasure! And indeed, there will be more novels!