Nt50 and I’m in love with the theatre all fresh and renewed. At a time when this country seeks to push drama and the other arts from its schools after it’s slashed the budgets to hell the BBC (usual puppet of the powers that be) shows us NT50 and curtains RISE in hearts round the country. The stage is set in memory and in mind, let’s hope the footlights shine in our eyes as we cross little boxes in those tiny one man voting theatres come election day. Vote Gambon vote Dench vote Jacobi vote Pinter vote Stoppard vote Gielgud vote Cumberbatch vote William bloody Shakespeare..
Little island don’t for one moment imagine there is any higher love held for you than the respect your arts bring you, don’t be discouraged by that. Nothing low about being creative. We know we’ve some serious science shit going on but who truly loves a scientist? Or who can love a scientist without having first loved Frankenstein? Is love even possible without art or is it sent downwards into some animalism? Without poetry is courtship just rutting? Without theatre is there a starting point for television? Without good theatre would our television be as shit as ‘SCORCHIO’ viewing caught briefly on binge drunk holidays? Why not learn to run with what we have. A couple eating pilchards in bed is as racy as a soap opera fumble. If well observed. Always well observed. No point in not being well observed.
Theatre is also important for what it has taught those who wish to stamp it out. Theatre and the classics both much derided by those with the power to dim their influence reaching where they are most needed. Influence and presence and confidence are all business skills most easily nourished on the stage, adaptability learnt fast backstage or in props or corporate influence in lighting and make up.. In schools themselves at roots level the difference between a trip to see Shakespeare and a read through of the text is gulf making, drama classes in schools often bring out the shyest child those many voices giving sound to their own, and yet these things are not valued in the new goveharmmental changes hitting schools, thankfully not mine… Not yet.. If you take arts from schools you take away culture, there are cultures to be found in science of course and I guess someone could write a petri dish based operetta at a push, but sometimes I feel quite sad that the world (country, by which I understand the world) was watching the x factor ten million viewers or there about and these aren’t all science majors having well earned downtime. We need to keep culture in our schools to prevent this rot. Although we have the brilliance of Jerry Springer the opera. Art reflecting life.
If I were in power I would embrace the theatre as it leaves a lasting impression long after the campaign banners are dust and the talent show artistes are forgotten. I’d like to think in doing that I’d be well observed. To so blatantly be a chaser of money like this government, is as a parent to only want its sons and daughters to pursue careers in business and your sons and daughters to pursue work in some fashionable field to make their own children’s life easier. This glory is fleeting, (aside from the constancy set aside for judges and the best lawyers) brilliant I’m sure but forgettable we should also encourage dreamers,you learn what is right and what can be done about the wrong from the arts, who cannot learn practically everything from Shakespeare. Who in these times cannot learn from Pravda? Or the history boys? The absence of war?
To not grasp the importance of the arts or as I rather suspect, to think that the people could be made to think you are working for them by banishing anything remotely ‘middle class’ from its cut price enforced educational dinner plate, when actually you are fully aware of the vital importance of art of creativity and of theatre, to play the part of the fool that funds only the sciences, to know you are playing the fool in doing so is a luxury I think future generations deserve also to experience, whilst they given this chance can also fob off the arts as easy exams as ever the case has been. Easy subjects or not, easy subjects might be easier to manipulate without seeing Coriolanus, but will they know when to bleat as pleasingly as part of a mob? …easy subjects or not (not surely, every subject is easy if just dipped into to master any subject is as hard as another) The national theatre at 50 is this country. It is this country more than DNA is this country and that is a lesson there for everyone. Although the story of Watson and Crick announcing finding the secret to life itself in a Cambridge pub is the stuff playwrights dream of… has not the artistic media interest in the life of Alan Turing increased understanding of his work? Have we not taken this emotive story to heart, scientists are people too. A big chunk of the people in this country are called the English and as a language what would that be without Shakespeare? It’d be fuck as anyone who cares to look would know, we owe as much to the fripperies of the playwright as we do to the builder of bombs or the constructor of bridges as a people with our place in the world which appears, from very far away, from the cheap seats that our highbrow and our kitchen sink are what we are.
Our history would delight if read by Alan Bennett, Brian Blessed perhaps on hand to read the gory bits, Stephen Fry to persuade us of something we cannot quite grasp, Judi Dench to hammer home any point with her all beguiling trustful tones. To not have these voices now, to not have had those voices then,To forget the voices we still have because they were great enough to leave us their legacy is a tragedy almost as great as the tragedy that could befall a country that forgets about its world renowned voice to sell beans.
Without my interest in the theatrical this blog post would’ve read. “watched a bit of x factor LOL” or more likely I wouldn’t be writing at all.