Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No discipline...

Two days ago I was stood in front of a room of young writers telling them about the importance of being disciplined. Yet one day later and I'd forgotten all that, abandoning the laptop in favour of walking the streets in the glorious Spring sunshine. Mind you, I had also spoken to them about procrastination and how useful it is to just get out there. So, in many ways, placing one foot in front of the other might prove useful when I return to the script today and try and make sense of all this red pen I've stuck all over the damn thing.

Listened to messrs Cavendish, Gardner and Edwardes waffling on about theatre criticism over on theatrevoice. Hmm, I dunno, much of what they say seemed so obvious, nothing earth shattering, Edwardes appearing to be suggesting that it's okay to write reviews for free (it's not) just to get some, any experience, Cavendish saying that the web is bringing about a plurality of opinion but expressing fears over what that might mean, Gardner and Edwardes both saying that they like the purity of not having interviewed directors and actors before seeing a production, which, as Gardner rightly points out, is impossible for freelance arts hacks. But all of them saying that there is no real route into theatre criticism, no possible training, other than being well-informed. Gardner, at one point, goes, "na-na-na-na-na I'm the one with the job" and admits that others out there could do it too but they can't, it's her desk. I once contacted The Guardian and told them that they needed to employ me as a stringer, because Lyn Gardner couldn't possibly cover everything in the north and I was a great critic. This was before Hickling started putting himself about. I never heard back from them. Which is probably just as well, as Cooke says, "Who's going to want to hear another white middle class voice talking about theatre?"

Listening: Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures.

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