Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Glasgow School: A summary so Far and Invitation

Any good ideas that I have are either stolen from other people (thanks, William Burroughs) or involve other people. Opening up my survey of Glasgow performance was one of my best.

So far, the first wave of survey questions have gone out, and the replies are coming back in. To recap: I am writing a long essay (tentatively titled The Glasgow School but set for revision) about whether it is possible to identify a particular Glasgow aesthetic. The methodology has been mentioned on this blog, and extracts of the work in progress have been published online.

The big idea is to make the project 'open sourced': anyone who feels that they are a stakeholder in Glasgow's performance communities is welcome to comment - and answer the five questions that will form my analysis of the scenes.

The answers that I have received so far are amazing: big names in the world of the theatre, emerging artists, friends of mine, writers and educators have all got involved. I have been challenged and impressed, and the mosaic of ideas that I hope to design will sparkle with their wit and intelligence.

This is a special appeal though: the engagement the community is supposed to be 'self-selective': that is, I don't want to bother too many people, I would like people to propose themselves. If you are reading this, and you haven't been invited already - or sent the amazingly long and detailed email, with its very easy questions at the end of all the justification - then get in touch.

The reason for making this invitation so open is to get a random sample of 'stakeholders' in the arts to reply (if I just picked out some names, the bias would be towards my favoured styles), but also to limit the exclusion of individuals. I shall take everyone's opinion into account, assuming that they give me some answers by next week sometime.

Whatever answers I come up with  - and there will be some grand theory - they will be provisional This survey is the start of a debate... it sets out some ground and hopes that it will be fertile. However, getting involved as this stage leads to bragging rights, and the right to critique the critic.

(As a side-note, I am coming out about my inability to remember names... I have this thing I am trying to get diagnosed. My entire personality has been shaped by hiding this... anyway. It means that I miss people off lists and stuff. So no-one is being excluded on purpose if I haven't got in touch. It just means I had one of my moments when I thought of you, and recited your career and physical appearance but the name was just past me...)

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