Friday, 23 October 2009

Geese Theatre UK

I have always been fascinated with the effect Drama and Theatre can have in inciting positive change. It is something that I wish to explore to its full on this course. I can think of nothing more personally gratifying then using theatre to ignite passion for change. Those who have expressed interest in working with Prisoners, Young offenders or excluded children should look at Geese Theatre UK. Their work is incredible, literally exploring the facades and masks the prisoners wear on the outside world and allowing them to become removed from that persona and question why they are in prison.
There is a book in the library and their website is quite dense.

Question/Circus Time

After a week of extravagant build up, last night’s question time failed to fulfil its potential. The political debate was reduced to a circus of hate as audience members whooped and cheered every single put down sent Nick Griffin’s way. Not for one second am I saying I did not enjoy watching this fear mongering, hate filled fool nervously licking his lips and contradicting himself, its just that Question Time is a platform for serious and equal political debate, not a stage on which any man is to mercilessly heckled and attacked from all sides. When we lose control of our emotions, the point which we are debating loses all integrity.
The week leading up to Griffin’s appearance was just as revealing as the debate itself. It is incredible that many opposed to the BNP’s fascism, totalitarianism and far right politics dispute their cause by wishing to deny them the right to appear on the show. Free speech is the foundation for democracy, and as such, even those with extreme views have every right to voice them. No, as Jack Straw commented, they have no place in politics, but personal opinion has to be voiced if the oppression the BNP would enforce is to be avoided under any government.
The frenzied show taught me very little, I already despised Nick Griffin, his party and everything they stand for, and the lack of impartiality from David Dimbleby made me question whether the BBC had a separate agenda that night. As the beat down continued, it seemed Dimbleby had been instructed to ensure that nobody accused the BBC of giving Nick Griffin a free ride.
I could hardly contain the grin on my face when Griffin praised a “non violent KKK leader” and though obviously trying to present a sanitised version of himself and his party, true hatred surged through his blood as he exclaimed Islam to be a “wicked, vicious faith.” He could not answer coherently, he sniggered and laughed uncomfortably as the audience vilified him. His body language was reflective of his parties policies, evasive, inappropriate and completely unfounded. I laughed out loud at the television as Griffin denied quotes that he can be seen saying on you tube. He is shambolic, a wreck, completely unsure of himself and looking desperately for a scapegoat on which to load his vanities, doubts and ignorance. He is the BNP’s perfect leader, a public representation of the fear and ignorance that causes people to tick the far right box on their ballot paper.
One moment of true enlightenment came from an audience member, a question directed at Jack Straw. He asked if Mr Straw believed the current governments lack of immigration policy had fuelled the recent support for the BNP. Jack Straw stumbled with his reply, it was as confused and damaging to Labour as the policy itself. Interestingly, the only question not directly associated with the BNP party concerned a homophobic article published by the Daily Mail. It seems natural to me that fascism, fear mongering, ignorance and the Daily Mail are words said just minutes apart.
This will not go away, no matter how much we attack and vilify the BNP, there will always be a far right minority fuelled by fear and ignorance. I hope, that the floating voters who saw and heard the BNP leader for the first time, though rightly angered by the failings of capitalism and by the country’s steady decline will have seen Nick Griffin as the quivering excuse for a man he truly is. As more people grow angered by the society they live in, the politicians who rape and pillage the system they are meant to uphold and adhere to, they will hopefully have realised that the BNP is not the party to channel their discontent through.

Friday, 16 October 2009

I can remember that our december performances may have an element of storytelling in them and the genre is apparently enjoying a revival, meaning there's a few shows we could go see. These shows are usually for pretty intimate audiences, the one is wapping is in a greenhouse for around eighteen guests. we should try to go as groups, if time commitments make it possible. I'll raise the issue in class.

I have the phone number and time out clipping for the wapping event, and also there is this:
shows are £6 and every tuesday at 8.

The Beginning of the Blog

I know its taken far too long, but today I’m posting the first entrance to my blog, because today, finally, I have the internet. Well, that’s my excuse, but the truth is I haven’t had a clue what to write. Its been half an hour since I wrote that sentence, in that time I have taken the rubbish out, washed up, nailed some cable tidies into my wall, re installed itunes and eaten a tuna pasta dish. I’m not really sure why I keep putting this off.
Since the first meeting at Ham House I have been completely devoid of inspiration. The truth is I just have no idea how to entertain children, the passing of my twenty first birthday has left me feeling old, jaded and completely out of touch. In fact, anyone who looks younger than me makes me check for my wallet, phone and keys. So far through university I have concentrated on theatre as an instrument for political change, and I have a hunch that kids won’t be entertained by a detailed analysis of the financial crisis.
While on the credit crunch, last Thursday, I saw the Power of Yes at the National Theatre. I’m not really sure what to say about it, it admits to not being theatre, but at no point does it admit to being very boring. It’s not that the vast amounts of often incomprehensible information thrown at you is boring, (although it can be) but more the fact at no point does the play even attempt to entertain its audience. The plot, if there is one, concentrates on the hows and not the whys, when it’s surely the latter that is important if the failing framework of capitalism is to be remoulded. I wouldn’t recommend this play, not to drama students, nor lovers of David Hare, not even to Bankers. It’s a shame, that arts ability to question society is wasted here, not just by the rudimentary playwriting, but by the fact manifestos for change are wasted upon the audience, a coughing, shuffling and dozing sea of grey hairs.
I am extremely apprehensive about next week, and I know I will be until four am and a brutal hangover provide me with some kind of inspiration, something with which I can contribute to the group.