Is anyone angry?

helen green, 11 July 2012

Helen Green - Arts Centre Washington, Patricia Stead - Dance City, Theresa Threadgall - Theatre Royal, Thom-Theatre Royal

This discussion was prompted by HG's question around why theatre wasn't challenging what is going on in the world. Aren't artists angry about anything anymore? Where is the new Joan Littlewood? Where is the new 7.84?

The discussion was quite passionate and ranged over many subjects from the macro to the micro which is why the person taking these notes made such a bad job of making notes! What follows is therefore just a series of soundbites/provocations that emerged from the discussion:

Are artists in the north too parochial? Too inbred? We are big fish in a tiny pool and perhaps need to experience being tiny fish in the big pool.

Why do artists feel their work has to be validated by venues?

The current set up in the north east, dominated by a handfull of large organisations does not encourage arts entrepreneurship.

Have we all lost the campaigning spirit? Have we all gone soft? Why are we all so apathetic?

Do artists make work that means something to other people apart from themselves?

Why dont we have the guts to say work is bad?

Do we get the audiences we deserve (that old chestnut)?

For the majority of residents in the north east, culture equals the region's heritage i.e. mining & shipbuilding. How can artists focus the public on current, original work. How can we get the message over that it's gone, get over it, move on!


apathy, guts, political, anger, campaigning, parochialism