01/04/2010 at 1:02 pm 4 comments

It’s a fundament of my approach to arts criticism that as critics we must constantly engage in creative practice. Whether it’s writing plays or performing or offering dramaturgy to a friend’s work in progress or whatever, unless you are also working in the arts your critical commentary is, well – academic.

So my lack of postage is due to the uncompromising nature of four or five submissions all due in the space of two weeks, and some even within one day! Although the Sydney Fringe Festival has kindly extended their deadline a week for those who haven’t got their shit together, for those such as myself who shuffled events around to ensure things are ready on time, for the last seven days it has meant the writing emphasis has been on proposals and grants, not blogs and reviews.

A couple of things are on my mind though, and perhaps it might serve the organisation of my scatterbrain if I put down some impromptu comments; clear out the detritus, if you will:

The funding conversation is hotting up. At home and abroad, it seems the issue of funding models is getting more and more airtime. I for one am glad, as a series of blog-posts I intend to complete soon is on that very subject. The thorny issue has given me pause to reconsider my funding philosophy on several occasions, not least when everybody who puts a different opinion up seems to have a very good point. So what started as a couple of blog posts is rapidly becoming a research project/essay. Not quite what I had in mind, but watch this space.

An interesting article in The Herald ran at the front of Spectrum last weekend; comparing the Sydney/Melbourne performing arts cultures, in particular what we can learn from the Melbourne scene. For some reason the article isn’t to be found online, even searching the much vaunted ‘National Times’ page I can only find articles on vet bills and suicide in the ‘Arts’ section. Which is a shame, as it’s really a conversation worth having, and I for one would like to read some of the responses in a ‘comments’ section. Elissa Blake’s piece, while (barely) scratching the surface, made a couple of good points on the kinds of support infrastructure found in our Southern sister’s theatre world. Like decent bars in the CBD, and restaurants set up for theatre audiences, and decent parking. Unfortunately most of this is due to geography and cannot be helped. It’s hardly the STC’s fault that all the bars in the CBD are overpriced techno ridden hellholes. But it’s definitely worth thinking about in the long term.

(Oh, and somehow the entire article managed to discuss Sydney’s performing arts and not once mention CarriageWorks. Unless that’s what she meant when referring to when she mentioned “the smallest fringe groups in Redfern”? Nice… Some of those fringe groups have been around longer than Company B, you know.)

Someone is hacking the theatre blogs of Sydney. Bizarre, I heard James Waites’ site was done earlier this year and then the other day I dropped in at Stage Noise and it was also down. I mean, really, theatre blogs? Dear God Why? I can think of a few more earth-shattering targets for this kind of juvenile cyber vandalism, but I suppose you have to start somewhere, right? hmmm. For the record, it isn’t me.

Let’s hope this weather holds up for the Hoopla Festival down at Darling Harbour. Should be fun!

Entry filed under: Sydney THEATRE. Tags: , , , .


4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. epistemysics  |  01/04/2010 at 9:30 pm

    Are you sure someone hacked StageNoise? Because by the looks of it, it’s better than ever – perhaps what you saw was just the transition period (when things always go wrong)?

    James Waites’ site definitely was, though.

    Perhaps now is not the time to mention I have a Computer Science degree? *whistles innocently*

    • 2. anvildrops  |  02/04/2010 at 8:58 am

      AHA- the plot thickens!

      well it’s fine now, and looks as though not much stride was broke, but for one day there was a flashing message saying ‘this site has been hacked’ and a spooky looking avatar somewhere between Emperor Palpateen and a man with a retro hoodie.

      Although strictly speaking Palpateen probably wore the original retro hoodie… so who knows. it was a long long time ago.

      • 3. epistemysics  |  02/04/2010 at 10:24 am

        Oh. Well. If there was a banner saying ‘this site has been hacked’, then it’s probably safe to disregard anything I said about it. That’s pretty much all the proof I need!

        I wonder who it is…an actor who got a bad review, perhaps? How very mysterious… Where’s Poirot when you need him?

  • 4. Maria  |  04/04/2010 at 2:19 pm

    Elissa Blake’s article barely scratching the surface – not to mention her reviews laboriously just telling the story. And will we ever see a review where her husband Jason and her don’t see eye to eye?


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