Lucid Event - "What Are We Going To Do About Theatre and Performance in Cardiff?”
Following on from a writer-centred event earlier in the year, I attended another Open Space meeting, organised by Lucid at the weekend, at Chapter Arts Centre – this one with the heading “What Are We Going To Do About Theatre and Performance in Cardiff?” Designed as a fairly informal, if structured forum for debate, aimed at coming up with positive solutions, the format involves participants coming up with questions, then breaking up into small, fluid groups to discuss them. I suggested the question “Is There A Problem?”, based on the fact that there appears to be quite a lot going on, theatre-wise, in the Welsh capital, speaking purely as a consumer. The truth, however, as was confirmed by more informed professionals than myself is that there are many perceived problems, such as the “scene” largely consisting of a plethora of small, basically self-funded productions (occasionally with token project grants from the Arts Council of Wales); a focus on “emerging” artists who are then abandoned with nothing to emerge into; a lack of cultural leadership at higher levels, etc. Other questions involved such issues as theatre’s responsibility to reflect a world in crisis, and the existence or otherwise of a keen theatre audience. A tiring, but stimulating day, and I wasn’t sure whether to be depressed or heartened by the fact that people who are considerably more connected and successful than I am are similarly mired in insecurity.