Monday, December 31, 2007


A really great year for the company - almost up there with our annus mirabilis of 2004. Dilemma was, of course, the highlight, and I shall long treasure the memory of a packed house rising to its feet in one spontaneous movement on the last night. But there was also much exciting work in the ever-growing Laboratory, with the work around First Nations theatre, and the launch of the Origins Festival with the symposium at Australia House being especially exciting. And we also published our first Theatre and.... book, Theatre and Slavery, with a very glitzy list of contributors. And we laid the foundations for some really important developments in the future. As I write this, Dzifa Glikpoe is in the UK as our Arts Council International Fellow; we're talking to organisations in China and India about the next stage of the Orientations Trilogy, and Origins is moving on. Yes, it's been a great year.....

A few cultural highlights for me personally (this being New Year's Eve).

The best book I read this year was the first: English Passengers by Matthew Kneale. An amazing (and very funny) voyage into the colonial process in Australia. I also loved reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, which I devoured in one hungry sitting (admittedly sitting on a plane for a long time). It's incredibly disturbing and deeply compelling. I finally got round to reading Life of Pi, of which I had great expectations, none of which were fulfilled. It's all the same... Best factual book (though that's not an adequate description for this wonderful poetic journey) - Wild by Jay Griffiths.

In the theatre, I much enjoyed Complicite's A Disappearing Number, and Peter Brook's production of Sizwe Banzi is Dead, both at the Barbican, and Lemi Ponifasio's beautiful Polynesian ritual Requiem at the QEH. It was also wonderful to see Ngapartji Ngapartji at the Dreaming in Australia, and this Festival is my overall cultural experience of the year. I also saw some great films there: Rhoda Roberts' A Sister's Love, and Alan Collins' Sunset to Sunrise (the latter we later screened at the Origins symposium). In mainstream film, I guess my film of the year is The Last King of Scotland.

Music: John Adams (of course) - The Flowering Tree and Dharma at Big Sur.

Roll on 2008....

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