Wednesday, June 6, 2007

like taking a theatre of physicality and poetry from a baby

My posting opportunities are currently limited due to the big old pile of empty space on my desk where my laptop used to be. But i want to point to the sad news that the Wrestling School has lost their funding (check out the blind fucking stupidity of some of the commenters limboing under the already seriously low bar set by the usual standard on the Guardian Theatre blogs. The internet - now everyone can spout shit from a position of absolute ignorance! In public!) Barker is, as one of the commentators notes, a man with a staggering sense of both entitlement and persecution. But then i guess being probably the most important playwright of the last 50 years who can't get his new work staged by pretty much any theatre in the country while David Hare idly wonders what Colin Powell said to the French and calls it a play at the National will probably do that to you.

Of course, he's not helped by the way that he sets himself in opposition to the theatrical establishment, and so, no doubt, he ruffles a fair few feathers. This is one of the problems with the theatre world - if you think something's shit, you can't say so because someone, somewhere is going to get upset and that someone is at somepoint going to end up being a gatekeeper and you're going to end up on the outside. (This is one of the reasons I love working for Noises Off at the NSDF - it encourages artists to talk openly about each other's work, and to not be so fucking precious about it when someone doesn't like their own work.) If, like Barker, you think everything is shit, indeed, that the very foundations on which almost all work produced today are built are shit, then you're bound to find yourself with few friends, and so the possibilities for staging and funding your work are going to be limited.

Thing is, what if he's right?

[edit - as Dan Bye rightly points out, Barker hasn't actually lost a regular source of funding, but not been awarded funding that he has in the past regularly received, if that makes sense. ]

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