Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Do British theatremakers get too much support?

"There's something heartening about how much venues now think about supporting artists. The spread of scratch nights and development programmes across the theatrical landscape has helped the creation of a real breadth of brilliant and unusual work – as has the number of venues that now support a host of associated artists resident artists.

"But I sometimes worry that this wealth of support can also have a demotivating effect on artists' willingness or readiness to do something on their own. In the worst cases, these programmes can infantilise artists, making them dependent on a IV drip of financial resources, space and opportunities supplied by a supporting organisation. Perhaps there's something lost in this well-intentioned mollification; something vital and interesting about the way an artist has to navigate their own way through the socio-economic conditions in which they find themselves. As with so much of the best art, often it's not just about what you do, but how you choose to do it, and the way in which you respond to – even resist – brutal commercial realities can be every bit as creative and inspiring as the work you're actually producing."

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