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DIY theatre

June 26, 2011

So, as you know, if you have read any of the previous posts in this blog, one of the things I’ve been struggling with is my sense that the work I make is unsupported by any of the ‘gate-keepers’ of the UK cultural scene. Without that support, the work feels unsustainable – after all I need to earn a living and I have made too many shows over the last two decades to feel entirely happy spending a year making a new one and seeing it disappear into oblivion after five people and the proverbial dog have seen it…

This is a dangerous place to spend too much thinking about because it destroys artistic vision, breeds bitterness, promotes despair…. After all if those charged with ‘judging’ art (and deciding what should be supported) consistently fail to support your work, it is very easy to think of yourself as a failure.

Echo ChamberMuch of the thrust of my thinking over the last month or two, as I go through the awkward birth of this new and terrifying creative process, has been trying to dismantle that self-detructive thinking in my own head.

‘Echo Chamber’ will happen in the autumn in Yorkshire. After that, as my partner pointed out, I spend most of the next few months traveling to run workshops. Everywhere I go, though I am not often part of ‘official’ programmes, I find people who want to work with me and people who want to watch me perform. It is one of the joys of my life, living outside ‘official’ structures and establishing honest, direct and deeply creative relationships with people who value the same things I do.

Why not put ‘Echo Chamber’ into the same relationship with the world (as my partner went on to point out, with a brilliant simplicity)? Perhaps if there are people who want to set up workshops for me, and improvisation performances, perhaps too there will be people who want to set up performances of ‘Echo Chamber’. After all, it is entirely portable as a piece of theatre and, as the attached document states. it does not even need a theatre….

After I perform in Bradford in November, I travel to Munich, then Stockholm. After a few weeks back in the UK, I go to Australia, perhaps America, Greece (I hope), France…. There will be teaching. There will be improvisations. Perhaps there will be performances of ‘Echo Chamber’ (and in Australia it seems as if there certainly will be.)

DIY theatre. Not thrown together, scrappy theatre (though I have nothing against a bit of rough theatre), but theatre that tries to bring the artist and the audience into a direct relationship which has the same unmediated honesty as the relationships I encounter through my workshops.

We’ll see. These are strange times and we need to find strange ways of surviving. Or we will not survive.

Do you want to set up a gig?

Click on this link if you want to find out more about my current thinking for the show….      Echo Chamber Promotion

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