Thursday, August 31, 2006
I don't want to write about the environment, the war in Iraq, the political system of Zimbabwe or Nigeria or any other country for that matter. As an avid theatre-goer, I also don't want to sit through the testimonials of an aslyum seeker or political prisoners, or sit through a thinly-disguised political satire about soldiers in Bosnia. I don't want a play that has visual or digital arts thrown in to try to make it appeal to the younger 'cooler' generation. I'm sorry if this might offend any artisitc directors out there, but frankly, if I wanted to know about the war in Iraq, I would read a newspaper. If I wanted to know about the war in Iraq from the point of view of a civilian caught in the struggle - I'd also read a newspaper (The Guardian in particular has done numerous features in this vain). I don't want to sit for two hours watching how some writer has incorporated the recorded testimonials of an elderly Iraqi lady and a British soldier into a two-hour 'play'. Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against political theatre. But I get a bit narked off when every single producing theatre in London (it seems) is putting on this kind of stuff (and all written in the same style). And it makes me wonder, maybe this is the reason there are more musicals than plays on in the West End at the minute - perhaps it's what the audiences want?
I want to be representative of my generation, sure, but I also don't want to be defined by it. I want to help create it. Yes, UK domestic and foreign policy affects everyone's lives in some way at the moment. But it is not the be-all and end-all of our daily existence. We still think, and feel, and love, and shit, and hate, and all that stuff. I think there are emotions that are synonymous with the world in which we live today - like paranoia for example - that can be taken and placed in a different context completely. It's those characteristics that will ultimately come to define the noughties, just like it defined the 50s with the witch-hunts that took place.
Where are this generation's 'Angry Young Men' or 'In-Yer-Face' crowd? Hopefully stewing in Leicester, believe it or not. Watch this space...