This play would always have been an uncomfortable watch, surrounded by a Sloane Square audience.
But they are precisely the sort of mollycoddled people who should see it. I watch a sitcom like Motherland, where getting the hairdo for a book launch ruined by a children's pool party is compared to a war zone, and it really brings home the huge gulf between the life experiences of those whose voices dominate the media and politics and those who really need help and understanding but have instead been abandoned and ignored for generations. Instead, they're turning the play into a battleground for the theatre's own internal mistakes in not tackling abuses they should have tackled within their ranks years ago but are now doing posthumously.
Post by theatremonkey.com on Dec 13, 2017 17:52:36 GMT
A random thought just struck me. Has part of the reason it has been pulled here, but not elsewhere, due to some legal reason? Some sort of trial or prosecution likely to happen, where the play's performance could affect the judicial process at that time?
Otherwise, I understand pulling it on grounds of taste a little, but mostly I too am disappointed at a seeming lack of broadest consideration and balance, however well-intended. "Sign of the times" though.
If we published the "Bad Behaviour" thread in print, we could call it "The Book of Morons."
Likely that Out of Joint would like to have pulled the tour but financially it would affect them badly. I was thinking of going in Huddersfield but I don't have the heart to see it now.
Why is it likely that Out of Joint would like that? M S-C left OoJ weeks before the start of the tour, which is presumably why the new AD stepped in to direct it. So the direction must have been done in the context of the M S-C business.
Most of the tour has been to places that share the culture of the play. The audience of the Royal Court leg would have been an anomaly. I'd booked to see it there as a convenient venue but I'd have preferred to see it with a more natural audience, at most of the other tour venues. I think the audience should empathise with the girls. Think of Parsley's comments about Road! This play would always have been an uncomfortable watch, surrounded by a Sloane Square audience.
I agree with you about the RC audience but this, of all Stafford Clark’s previous successes, is one that raises questions about the company and how he operated within it. To have it touring now is a constant reminder of that, where other plays might not have been.
I own the play but haven't read it yet. I have to say I'm very surprised that it has been cancelled, only because I had always assumed it was a play about grooming rather than one that glamourises it. Is that not the case then?
Seems bizarre to have tarred this play with the general zeitgeist brush, when it could have triggered important discussions.
Although, there may be more at play here with regards to, as others have suggested, the actual original putting together of the play / how Dunbar was treated herself, but that's all pure speculation.
I respect and applaud the way the RC has dealt with the ongoing issues and how they have put themselves forward as an important, historical cultural institution that is willing to take a stand and try to affect real change, but this specific cancellation does seem odd to me.
I'm sorry but crying because a theatre pulls a show is the very definition of snowflake.
A good friend of mine is involved in the Andrea project and it looks to be something special.
Who's crying? It's all well and good to produce 8 new voices and call this the Andrea project, but it is NOT Andrea's voice. To excise this play is to whitewash part of the Royal Court's history. M S-C was a very hands-on director (excuse the pun). He worked very closely with all the writers he encouraged and played a huge role in the development and direction of those plays. Are they now going to ban all the plays he was involved with including Top Girls and Our Country's Good? Are those plays tainted too and if not why not? Because they are not about underage sex? Plays at the Royal Court should make us feel uneasy and leave us asking questions. At the moment the plays at the RC have me asking all the wrong questions e.g. what the hell was that all about? Historically, the Royal Court has worked hard to avoid censorship, so I think they are on very dodgy ground here. Dunbar wrote the plays she wanted to and they should be honoured. They should be produced at the Royal Court which is the theatre that discovered her when she was a schoolgirl. By all accounts becoming an award winning writer was one of the most important and significant things that happened to her. How many working class writers are produced at the RC? Not many. You can probably count them on one hand without running out of fingers.
Are they not putting on the play because of its subject matter or because of accusations against someone associated with the company putting it on? Methinks the lady doth protest too much. Ben Jonson got away with murder literally so we shouldn’t expect any of his work to be staged from now on. And all plays written before last week are probably dodgy. My reasoning is as muddled as theirs isn’t it. Geddit?
>>Are they now going to ban all the plays he was involved with including Top Girls and Our Country's Good
Obviously not as long as they aren't directed by Max. Like the decision or not, it's about the man at the helm, not the playwright. And frankly his work in recent years has been so sub-par (hobbled by illness as he has been etc) that it was very sad seeing his stuff of late, set against the theatrical dynamo he once was.
As Lynette suggests, the rationale for this cancellation seems very 'conflictual' itself. If it were just about Stafford-Clark's association with this production, then in the context of the allegations around him I might understand. But the RC's statement makes clear that it's now uncomfortable with the play itself, because of its themes of "grooming and abuses of power of young women", and this seems absurdly to conflate the thematic concerns of Andrea Dunbar's work with the alleged behaviour of someone on the creative team. The alarming suggestion is that Dunbar is complicit, that merely writing a play about these topics makes her an accessory.
The full statement then ties itself in further knots by saying 'The show has successfully toured to ten venues this Autumn and we remain incredibly proud that the shared collaboration made the tour possible.' So which is it - how can you be proud of something that you find too tainted to stage in your own theatre?
Post by cleopatraskryker on Dec 14, 2017 9:30:55 GMT
I urge you all to watch Clio Barnard's film "The Arbor" which explores Dunbar's work, life and legacy. It is a very sobering portrait, especially when you consider what happened to her kids in later years. The Estate that she set her plays on became subsumed by the drugs culture. In the light of this, as far as I'm concerned, the Andrea Project would only have any clout if they were working with kids from the Buttershaw Estate (if it still exists) in Bradford. I sincerely hope that Dunbar's children do not miss out on royalties with the cancellation of these performances. For me this issue is not about MS-C it is about Andrea Dunbar, one of very few working class female playwrights, who gave us an unflinching portrait of the world she inhabited. I would also add that her emergence as a playwright is a testimony to her survival of oppression. That says a great deal about the power of theatre.
The RC's statement makes clear that it's now uncomfortable with the play itself, because of its themes of "grooming and abuses of power of young women", and this seems absurdly to conflate the thematic concerns of Andrea Dunbar's work with the alleged behaviour of someone on the creative team. The alarming suggestion is that Dunbar is complicit, that merely writing a play about these topics makes her an accessory.
Completely 100% agree with this, and it's why the decision doesn't sit right.