Wednesday 3 October 2007
The Absence of . . .
‘I love crap TV’, admits NT boss
Nicolas Hytner’s tenure at the National has thus far been marked with a genius for programming. It has put the building right back at the centre of the theatrical map with an intelligent mixture of classic plays, rare revivals, new writing and adaptations: supporting both the unashamedly popular and the spectacularly avant garde. On this basis, one hopes it is Guardian arts correspondent Charlotte Higgins’s journalistic instincts which manage to make the theatre’s forthcoming season sound slightly less than wholly appetising.
Of course, it is silly to second guess what productions are liable to be like before they're actually on – this summer’s St Joan was little short of a revelation for Shaw doubters (myself included). And it’s always possible that David Hare’s new plays will be good. Besides, it’s all a matter of taste, isn’t it? Although the news that ‘Hytner was tight-lipped about [the new Hare]'s content, simply saying: "It will be a very big play"’ does little to allay such fears. It might have been more reassuring if he’d used the word “good” rather than “big” and had not been gritting his teeth at the time.
Making (yet again) the case for the sheer usefulness of the blog in the interminable, ongoing (non-) dispute, Mark Shenton’s report on the same event comes as a great relief, spared, as it is, the need to identify and quickly dispatch a (mainstream) “news” story. Shenton’s position as both a critic and a blogger (a journalist by any other name...) is interesting, particularly since he appears to use it allow him to cast himself outside the media rabble and make perceptively spiky comments about them. Of especial interest is his observation:
‘Nor did [Hytner] rise to the bait thrown down by one journalist to dismiss reality TV casting programmes: “I was totally hooked on The Sound of Music one”, he admitted – but then admitted to “loving crap TV”.’
Evidently the journalist in question had heard tell of Hytner’s near-legendary capacity for thinking off the top of his head with immensely quotable results which find themselves magically taken out of context. Although “NT boss: ‘I love crap TV’” isn’t a bad start, had this been a slow news week.
Edit: Thrillingly, Michael Billington has just filed his own version of the above piece, only an hour after mine, so now we can all indulge in exciting compare and contrast exercises.
Meanwhile, in the absence of an end to the blog I started the other day, I shall instead note the welcome return of Geoffrey Chaucer’s blog. In case you haven’t already devoured huge portions of it, its early middle-English pastiche of spam emails in particular has to be seen to be believed.
Meanwhile, Postcards’s Unseemly Puerile Smirking Department wishes to give thanks to the Arcola Theatre for services to ludicrous innuendo in wholly inappropriate circumstances.
Elsewhere on the web, the Department of Theatre in Unlikely Contexts offers you two brief interviews with the excellent Roy Williams and the utterly adorable Jenny Worton.
Also, in case you haven’t been diverted there by Unknown Persons yet, you really must read I Am The Movies - particularly its review of The Devil Wears Prada. Then leave comments begging for more. It’s the only way.
Finally, my ongoing love affair with my blog stat-counter’s Last Ten Referrers function continues apace with the news that someone found Postcards by asking Google:
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows too sexualised?”
The result is the following answer, about five entries down on the first page of results.
“Postcards from the Gods: September 2007
The sexualised politics of incursion and occupation as a language to imagine a real ...... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: 56479 people; 8963 reviews......”
postcardsgods.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html - 198k - Cached - Similar pages
I do hope that the combination of a Shoot / Get Treasure / Repeat review and a Facebook Visual Bookshelf commentary was useful to them. If not, to paraphrase a former Latin master, it is a question which expects the answer ‘no’.
Edit: Although the above search may have just been replaced in my affections by the American who Googled: 'Roger Scruton Metallica'.