January 28, 2007

The pleasures of Parker

Ian Mune             posted 27 Jan 2007, 12:42 AM

Dean, I mean. And my pleasures, not his. With a dramatist, screenwriter, journalist, historian, teller of tales and joyous, if acerbic, wit such as he, why not give him a regular spot to comment on theatre, film, tv, storytelling, the theatre of absurd we call political life in NZ and whatever else takes his fancy? He draws on such a huge reservoir of knowledge, experience, history and social(ist?) understanding, and writes with that greatest of all qualities – RELISH! Theatreview is a significant site with perceptive and interesting, if perhaps a little soft, reviews. But it’s always a great, updating read. It could be more significant, play a more important role. Why not add challenging opinion pieces? I know about the forum site, but we don’t get notification about that. Why not let us know when Dean gives us regular or occasional pieces. And there are many others. John Smythe has a lot more to offer in the way of thoughtful and trenchant comment than simply reviews. Martyn Sanderson? Jean Betts? I’m not so involved in today’s theatre scene as I was, so can’t name the new young brains, and we so need to hear from them. What are they trying to achieve, what do they want, what do they need, what are the shackles they are trying to cast off? Anyone want to back me/oppose me on this? Ian.

Hugh Bridge       posted 27 Jan 2007, 11:47 AM

I support Ian’s suggestion – I’m all for continuous improvement – though my habit is to click through to the Home Page after I read a new review and check for Audience Chatter updates. That means I don’t miss any of the discussion or Forum material.

Steve La Hood    posted 28 Jan 2007, 09:17 PM

Ian – good to hear your voice! I thoroughly enjoyed Dean’s “lost in transtasman” essay on the Sydney festival. You’re right too that we should encourage the young and the hoary old theatre practitioners to use this forum as a way to express ideas and issues affecting the performance industry we all slither around in. I’m not good at keeping up with the shows in town. Making a living has dragged me away from the life on the boards. But I know that there are young playmakers doing great new stuff (I see perhaps a tenth of it) and i have no idea what motivates them, pisses them off, frustrates their ambitions – whatever. I’ll spread the word among the few I know and see if they can’t join the throng on Theatreview! And hats off to John Smythe for his labour of love here, as well as his literate and intelligent reviews.

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