Last week, I was invited, on behalf of the British Theatre Guide, to attend a day-long showcase of short pieces from Hijinx Theatre Company. Called “pods”, they're designed to be pieces which can be toured to venues of various kinds on a “pick’n’mix” basis – a laudably inventive approach to challenging financial circumstances. Rather fun, although seeing all five in a row was a little wearing. Perhaps the most conventionally entertaining was “Snoutology For Beginners” (an academic seminar supposedly conducted by dogs). I can’t make an objective assessment of Mr and Mrs Clark’s “The Waiting Room”, since I was one of the audience members called into the performance area to take part; quite fun, even if the memory now causes me to perspire.
That same evening, I attended a Writers’ Guild-hosted meeting of dramatists at all levels of experience, led by Tim Price, discussing the state of new theatre writing in Wales – uncertain given the lack of funding as a whole, and events at Sherman Cymru in particular. Depressing and stimulating in equal measure, providing hope that we can move forward constructively if we create a mutually supportive environment. Our “plight” was put into perspective, somewhat, when a group of exiled Turkish theatre-makers, led by Memet Ali Alabora and Meltem Arikan (coincidental invitees of Tim’s) discussed the danger they’d found themselves in, having produced a play, “Mi Minor”, which was critical of their government.