Sunday, 13 March 2016

2015, eh?

There was plenty of intriguing theatre in 2015, but (for some probably unrelated disappointment) I don't feel a great deal of optimism for 2016. The closure of The Arches - yeah, that'll be a good excuse for wallowing in misery - was a loss to Glasgow culture. It took me a bit of time, and reviewing my writing over the past decade, to realise how much good stuff they promoted. 

Looking back over the past year, though, and it's deadly dull populism that is giving me a spiritual hangover. Places like The Arches, which supported younger artists with wild ideas (and they might be young in art but not in age), provide a laboratory for the future, as well as a place where older artists with wild ideas could present. It was a big like church, where people of different generations could mingle.

But populist theatre is sometimes so lazy - missing the chance to add a bit of edge or depth to pander to audiences who could, frankly, handle it. The biggest disappointment was that one at The Citizens, that seemed to think that a musical by him off Deacon Blue was something worth doing. Apart from a weak script and a lack of sensitivity to choreography (the songs had worse dance moves than me at an 1980s' disco), it was a bunch of sentimental lies about redemption.

Hey, cheer up! There was good stuff. I'm going to select The Illicit Thrill as my highlight of the year. It's a shame that I was the only critic who wrote about it: it had all the shocking goodness of live art, and threw around some deep ideas about the nature of sexual desire and the inequality of male/female relationships. It was shocking enough, and made a virtue of playing to the crowd.

I've thought hard about the nature of genius, but what if genius is the expression of an individual's life through art, transforming the lived experience into a meaningful discussion with an audience?

No comments :

Post a Comment