Friday 3 August
The early part of this week was all a misty blur of board meetings, vat returns and minutes. There’s a lovely bit in Sir Peter Hall’s diaries about boards – which I found again last night (which I’d interestingly underlined sometime in 2004 when I first read the book !!!!):-
‘It is a basic rule of subsidised theatres that as long as you have catering to discuss with the Board, the directorate can always get on with their job of running the art of the theatre without too much interference’
Not that that’s the case with the Eastern Angles board. Discussion of the artistic work of the company takes up much of the meeting and there’s a full and healthy exchange of views about recent shows and other strategic issues .
I’ve been thinking of feedback and evaluation quite a bit recently so I was amused to come across this on Wednesday night in the book I’m currently reading (Ed Smith’s On and Off the Field)
‘Blanking out failure. Sportsmen do it all the time. Like it never happened. Their self belief is not hampered by a selective memory; it is dependent upon it…..Of course you’ve got to learn from your mistakes. But sometimes ruthless self examination of your own failings serves merely to summon a monster that you then cannot slay.’
When you’re head down it’s easy to forget the importance of creative dialogue with friends and colleagues. I’ve been reminded of that several times this week – on the quay side at Wivenhoe, at @15queenstreet breakfast meetings and catch up with Sarah Platt of @Kinura and @MarcDe_ath of Creative Co-op and in pub discussions with Robert Pacitti and Ivan Cutting . Many of my favourite projects have come out of what I used to call ‘corridor conversations’ – random encounters when two agendas or ideas collide and something happens as a result. I need to remember that!
Pacitti Company are brining SPILL to Ipswich in Autumn. For four days Ipswich is going to be packed to the rafters with some of the most challenging and controversial theatre, performance, visual art and ideas. Sounds extra-ordinary!
In a very different space – over on Radio 4 you would have heard Ivan – our artistic director – on Wednesday when he appeared as a guest on mid week (along with a baker, an air ambulance paramedic and a jouster from Woodbridge) – you can listen again here:-
Believe me there’s nothing like a bit of radio four to get middle England ringing and writing to the office!
Meanwhile up in Edinburgh the I Heart Peterborough team has been acclimatising to the North (‘every planet has a north you know’ –my favourite and possibly only Dr Who quote). After a successful tech the show started previewing on Wednesday and so far the feedback has been fantastic. @FloraMarston on twitter wrote
‘I heart Peterborough was beyond sublime. Honestly beautiful, carefully heartbreaking and properly funny. Thankyou’.
Couldn’t put it better myself! I’m heading to Edinburgh next week – looking forward to it!