Archive for the 'theatre' Category

Feeling it

I wrote to a friend the other day – a delightful young actress with whom I had the pleasure of working for almost a year on a national tour. She is about to open in the West End in a revival of Jean Anouilh’s play “Ring Round the Moon”, and I wanted to wish her well.

But in doing so, I recalled that I had the seen the play’s first London production, with Paul Scofield, Margaret Rutherford and Claire Bloom – and of course I had to look up when that was. I was horrified. 1950! Fifty eight years ago, when I was eighteen. It made me feel quite impossibly aged.

But of course, as old people never tire of saying, one doesn’t feel old; and I certainly have to thank my lucky stars, or my genes, or whatever, for the fact that I am still fit (I defeated cancer two years ago), still working (from time to time), and still capable of learning how to blog. How lucky is that?

A paradox

It’s an odd thing: the British Council (currently under attack in Russia) gets £189 million from the government for ‘promoting British culture in overseas countries’. At the same time, the Arts Council is proposing to withdraw funding from dozens of theatres up and down the country – notably, in my area, the Bristol Old Vic and the Northcott Theatre in Exeter. Yet surely British theatre is one of the things we are most envied for, and have most cause to be proud of?

Talk about killing, or at least paralysing, the goose that lays the golden eggs. . .

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