Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…


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Battersea Arts Centre: Blog

#EmmaRice and The Globe


I declare an interest as a friend and fan of Emma and previous Board member of Kneehigh Theatre.

So what follows is not an attempt to create a balanced view. It is rather the seed of an idea…

Emma has brought light, energy, inspiration, new audiences, new beginnings and fresh creativity to The Globe.

Shakespeare would be chuffed. Surely.

But the Globe’s Board and management have decided that the theatre is better off without Emma’s approach.

I am interested to ask what this might this mean for the relationship between Artistic Directors and the Boards of theatres? And ideas around artistic freedom.

When I began my job as Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre it was only a few months before it was clear that I was not as good as the previous guy. The Board could have acted quickly, perhaps giving me an ultimatum “be more…

View original post 584 more words


2 comments on “#EmmaRice

  1. PJR

    The problem with the Globe is not the incumbent director but the institution itself, neither fish nor fowl, misborn of theatrical nostalgia and historical naivite, a sentimental parade costumed in heavy academic robes, tripped up by the worst sight lines and acoustics of any big theatre in London.
    It’s been a miracle when a good performance ever breathed out of its wooden O. (Admission: I’m not a fan and not seen a show there for 9 years, deterred by discomfort, disappointment and staff officiousness).
    None of its artistic flaws should stop it from operating as a popular tourist venue within its limitations, an historical-theatrical theme park, a cross between The Mousetrap and the Tower of London, between a temple to Drama and a South Bank circus.
    The building is picturesque and contributes to contemporary London’s appearance as a Disney version of itself.
    Neither excessive reverence for tradition nor gimmickry for its own sake serve Shakespeare or any other classic theatre well.
    The play’s the thing etc etc. Forget showing off and just tell the bloody story using the space you find yourself in.
    Emma Rice has been badly treated by the Board that appointed her, in full knowledge of the style she’d impose, because it doesn’t know what the Globe is, either.

    Liked by 1 person

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