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17 November

17 November

Sounds of Musical Theatre

NOTES FROM AN ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Its time to hit pause, literally. Dont get me wrong, one of the strange benefits of COVID has been the opportunity to sit at a screen and view theatre productions from around the world. Performing arts organisations of all shapes and sizes have kept their work alive by digitally sharing their past productions, and its been a rare pleasure.

I discovered the extraordinary skill of Manual Cinema (Chicago) through their show Frankenstein, saw the outstanding Stephen Rea in Cyprus Avenue from the Royal Court (UK), and experienced a poignant snapshot of life with COVID from New Yorks Public Theatre with The Apple Family: Conversations on Zoom What Do We Need To Talk About? And yet, this always felt a temporary fix. It wasnt until I was reading Adrian Franklins book about the making of MONA in Tasmania that it clicked. Franklin says the dream visit to a museum or gallery is when you find yourself there alone, able to experience a great work of art without hordes of people around you.

In this, he says, the museum is the opposite of theatre, where the crowd is essential to the art itself. At this time, it was good to be reminded of this fact: performers need live audiences for the production to reach its full, joyous potential its not a solo sport. So, while going to the theatre on screen has been immensely valuable, Im so glad that our doors are open once again and that the energy of the group, coming together at one time, can provide that final piece of the puzzle, that makes the theatre, theatre.

Timothy Jones Artistic Director .

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