Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And a Happy New Year....

Just before Christmas, Penny, Seema and I drove up to Manchester for lunch with Chris Honer and his General Manager Adrian at the Library Theatre. It's a lovely, very comforting space, in the basement of the magnificent City Library. Chris has been very excited by the DVDs of the Trilogy so far, and wants to co-produce the whole thing in early 2010. This means that the trajectory of 2009 is mapped out in terms of preparing it: we workshop in Shanghai in February, followed by a period of dramaturgy with Brian; then we do the first version of Re-Orientations as a work-in-progress presentation at Goldsmiths in the summer, prior to getting the whole thing ready for 2010. I think that's a good way to time it - we can think a lot and not panic too much.

Christmas took me all over the place, including to Aberystwyth, where I managed to squeeze in a swift and fascinating meeting with Jeremy Turner, who runs Arad Goch there. With all my work on First Nations theatre and languages, it's as well to remember there are people doing indigenous theatre right here in Britain, and fighting the corner for minority languages. Jeremy will be in rehearsals when Origins happens in May - but is keen to come down for the middle weekend, and to talk on a panel about theatre and the survival of minority / indigenous languages and cultures.

The Guardian was nice enough to print my books of the year on Saturday, so I won't repeat them here! But it's been an exciting year for watching theatre and film too, especially at the wonderful Barbican, where I saw the amazingly contemporary German Hedda, the justly famous Black Watch, and Yael Farber's brilliant South African re-working of the Oresteia in the light of the truth and Reconciliation Commission, Molora. Elsewhere, I loved Yours Abundantly from Zimbabwe at the Oval House for its directness and its honesty, and That Night Follows Day at the Gothenborg Festival, for the same reasons. In film, I've had a great year watching First Nations films which we'll be screening in Origins in a few months: especially Tkaronto, The Waimate Conspiracy and Kanehsatake – 270 years of Resistance. Elsewhere, I loved Garin Nugruho's Under the Tree - which was also very valuable for the Trilogy!

See you in 2009.

1 comment:

Roger said...

Michael,

When and where are you in Shanghai?