Archive for February, 2008
David Ryding is a very tall man. He is also a scriptwriter, director and arts administrator with a keen interest in installation art. David is Director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival 2008, now in its fifth year, to happen in Melbourne from 9th to the 11th of May. I recently had a chat with him about the Festival, what it means to be an ‘emerging’ writer, and the future of writing in Australia.
For my argument that they are an ‘oddity on the Australian stage’, it seems slightly paradoxical that the first two feature pieces published on this blog deal with double bills. Pre-empting Platform Youth Theatre’s onslaught of Aussie writers in March is Welcome Stranger’s This is Good Advice, featuring two shorts from two of Britain’s most important contemporary theatre artists, Caryl Churchill and Martin Crimp. The back-to-back combination is additionally tantalising as audiences do not get enough opportunities to experiences these writers, particularly Churchill, on our stages. Perhaps I have been living under a rock, but this is first time I have actually seen a Churchill play performed (my third Crimp – he has been slightly more in vogue over the last few years).
Platform Youth Theatre’s upcoming Tenderness is an oddity on the Australian stage, perhaps almost anachronistic. For starters, it is a double bill, consisting of two short plays, Ugly and Slut, running one after the other with no interval. It is showcasing new pieces by two of the country’s most respected writers, Christos Tsiolkas and Patricia Cornelius, in a theatre environment increasingly hostile towards Australian writing. I recently had a chat to director Nadja Kostich about the project, her interest in working within the youth theatre context and her collaborative approach to directing.
Some people think that it’s terribly self-indulgent to start up a blog; that by publishing your views on the internet, you believe they are worthy of some precedence or authority above their own. I don’t especially blame them. The internet really is brimming with blogs of pointless diatribes about boyfriends and bourgeois burdens. I’m part of the MSN Messenger / Myspace / Facebook generation and I’m sick to death of it too. However, this blog has a purpose. It’s not about me and how much my lyf sux!111 (lolz) – we all have issues, right? Rather, it’s an exploration of one of my passions. Theatre. In particular, Melbourne theatre. And what’s going so very wrong with it (as well as what’s going right). Read the rest of this entry »