Saturday, 19 July 2008

Why I hardly ever write about theatre...

So very recently one of you bloggy readers (who also happens to be my partner in crime AND crime fighting) asked me oh so innocently where the PLAYWRIGHTING has gone to in a blog entitled "Confessions of a Playwright?" Scroll through recent posts and probably None of them are actually about what the blog purports to be about. Okay, you want to know, you want to know where all the theatre has gone? Or why I've avoided any sort of theatrical discussion? It comes down to a couple of reasons:

I mean, reason number one has just got to be Fear. There is a whole network of London theatre blogs that write about it well or not so well to varying degrees and to be honest I do get nervous about having to take a stand among them. Mostly because I rarely read them unless I like the writers style/am friends with them (both could be said of Craig and Andy's blogs) or have gone to see a show and would like to place it within the ever widening context of Internet Opinion. I am happy that other people are doing it but I just don't want to get involved unless I loved something, and even then I rarely feel my bloggy attempt would do it any sort of justice. Is this terribly horrible? This is just, maddeningly, how I feel.

The second reason is going to seem like a bit of a rationalization - which it kind of is, and kind of isn't. I haven't been writing a lot. This much is horribly true. I've thought about it, but at this point playwrighting is starting to seem incredibly terrifying for whatever reason - I'm waiting for that moment when I come back to it because I will be needing it desperately. But let's say I *were* massively successful and constantly playwrighting, I'd like to think that via the internet my top priority would always be to approach the medium however I feel it works best. In the case of a blog, I think the best thing you can do is look at it as a fun time wasting experience where we can share whatever culture we are collectively accumulating via the internet. A play *could* work via the internet, and maybe that will be my next bright idea, but as it stands, I think that short forrays into whatever I last did on youtube is as valid a blogging directive as any.

Yesterday I was walking around the bookshop of the Royal Academy of Art when I found the most beautifully printed edition of a smaller volume by Kierkegaard. I turned to Stacey and just said, "Gawd, do I miss philosophy." I truly feel that even if my work ethic were stronger than it actually (no holds barred) isn't, I would be more inspired and have more to offer to playwrighting and theatre through looking at current affairs, philosophy and poetry than I would through focussing on theatre. Theatre to me is a way of funnelling through, of dealing with the fact that we're living and what that means to us. How many playwrights with depression write about characters with inner conflicts? Or playwrights from politically desperate situations write brilliantly about politics? No, no, it's not as simple as writing what you know, but it's working through what you know, reaching for more than you know, for what you almost know or what you need to know, and trying to get at something that maybe has never been expressed in theatre before - and the best place to find that thing could be through poetry, music, science, the news, or watching a delicate video that seems to depricate humanity via youtube.

But I've let myself go on - a cardinal no no of the blog.

I don't write exclusively about theatre because there's more to life - and theatre is our way of working through life. Also, for better or for worse, I can't change the title of this blog. So no matter how far I stray, playwrighting and I are kind of (thankfully) stuck with each other.

1 comment:

Mary Pearson said...

This is an insightful piece. I totally understand that feeling of working through something rather than writing about it. One writer of our acquaintance described it as using challenging life experiences to propel one's his case his writing.

Hopefully one can also use joyful experiences as well.

Interesting perspective on theatre as well.

Hope you're having a grand time out and about with Stacey in London

Miss you.
Your old Mum here in Canada