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Archive for January, 2014


Why hell? Because no one wants to subscribe to the limitations they believe having political views would impose on their artistic freedom. But the truth is, politics, the word, is rooted in people. Politics is about how people behave, act, betray and rule each other.

The best theatre I have ever seen was uncomfortable to watch from a complacent, detached, ethereal viewpoint.

Theatre needs to get its hands dirty – as dirty as politics does, so greedily.

Two recent events illustrate how married politics and theatre are, whatever artists may say. A recent Irish government commission reported on the performance of Ireland’s national theatre, the Abbey, and found the majority of the productions it put on were of a poor, unsatisfactory and unprofessional standard. This, in a country that is crowded with passionate and brilliant playwrights and performers, some of whom cannot earn a living, and with a studio theatre, the Peacock, dark for some of the year.

Here is a thoughtful article by a previous Artistic Director, Gerry Hynes:

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/fixing-the-abbey-where-next-for-the-national-theatre-1.1664388?page=3

The second item that is worth your attention is the stand taken by playwright Margaretta D’Arcy on the rendition flights through Shannon Airport – a situation the Irish government would like to pretend does not exist. When they asked her to shut up and stop annoying them, she refused. She is now in Limerick Prison. You can sign a petition to free her to the Irish Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, here:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Irish_minister_for_Justice_Alan_Shatter_Free_Margaretta_DArcy/sign/?aVzadab

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Irish_minister_for_Justice_Alan_Shatter_Free_Margaretta_DArcy/?pv=0

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writers earn money? I don’t think so.

I’ve had two books published in the past two years, both digital. I have no idea what the sales figures are.

All I know, is that for two years of work, I haven’t been paid a penny, a dime, a euro, a cent.

I won’t be writing in this genre [romance] again. And I knew what I was doing when I agreed to a ‘royalties only’ contract. However, I did think that after two years, I might have got some royalties.

I also work as a playwright, to commission, and for this I am heartily grateful. Writers need to eat, even if only crumbs from the rich man’s table.

Thanks for this blog, Sara Sheridan, I read it with empathy.

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Why taking play away from children is a bad thing to do

I couldn’t agree more. I grew up in the 1950s, where street games, two ball rhymes, skipping rope songs with endless possibilities  and the rules of ‘Kick the Can’ or ‘Chain He’ were known to us all. Long, complicated role play games took in Davy Crockett, Dragnet, Robin Hood and Peter Pan.

Children need to play without adults watching and controlling. Children need to play, and they aren’t being allowed to.

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Here is a rather long link…

http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/columnists/guest-columnist/a-portrait-of-the-artist-as-childish-reckless-and-dangerously-subversive-254532.html?fb_action_ids=10152147249239672&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=.Us2RRr-dryo.like&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B707021905983589%5D&action_type_map=%5B”og.recommends”%5D&action_ref_map=%5B”.Us2RRr-dryo.like”%5D

The resignation of three members of the creative team working for LIMERICK CITY OF CULTURE has shone an unpleasant spotlight on the chasm between artists and the present government, who is entrusted with millions to pay out to us, lucky and grateful as we are supposed to be for any crumbs that come our way.

This article hits the nail on the head about the present climate in Ireland, a state we who write, compose or make art have known for years is heavily weighted in favour of bureaucrats  – the very fact that ‘the arts’ are lumped in with Sport and Tourism shows government thinking.

Two of the resigned team – Karl Wallace and Jo Mangan –  are friends, and I have certain knowledge of their  outstanding administrative competence, their visionary imaginations, and their passion for the arts. So my view is not balanced.

As the article says, the wonder is that we go on creating at all.

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