Don’t want to stress you out but this it’s the Ides of March and you’d better beware of your besties and their swords if you’re a general with eyes on a greater throne. Listen to your people.
And then reflect.
Does this piece have more meaning at this time of year? Has our shifting political context given new understanding to these words? Where does this voice sit in our collection?
The continuing relevance of your work is something we writers of theatre think a lot about. There is a tendency in the ‘New Writing’ scene (particularly in London) to write contemporary, immediate and responsive work to the world we are currently experience – which is great. But the cute satirical short play ‘Flood’ I wrote a couple of Australian Prime Ministers Ago doesn’t really belong on a 2017 stage.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had the same work performed more than once and it’s fantastic. I LOVE IT. ‘Fresh Legs’ was produced in both 2015 and 2016 and was an absolute joy to watch develop with both production teams. I think a writer should embrace the form and part of the form is for a work to exist in many different ways.
Theatre is also is about revisiting texts. It’s about rediscovering the new in performance and about interpretations. Nothing is fixed and it can and should exist in many forms. We are looking to explore how this can manifest digitally (see Snout!).
With Shakespeare we get a lot of productions of a lot of texts. This of course means we get snooty critics getting hot under the collar about casting or people getting political about the use of lighting in a traditional space – but it also means we can do ALL of this and more. There are post-colonial versions, queer reinterpretations, puppetry – we might be celebrating 401 years this year but these texts are so alive.
So are ours. We hope. Not just on the Ides.
This year alongside making new work well be revisiting some of our existing texts #InSouliloquyRevisited and continuing to play and develop what Digital Theatre can mean.
Meantime rewatch Chris Rogers’ great performance as the Soothsayer and think about that lost Empire and what we live now.
x Tilly x