Playwrights and politics

A scene from 'The night is darkest before the dawn' part of 'The Great Game Afganistan'

Whilst currently applying for funding to work with new writers to create short plays about climate change, peak oil and environmental injustice I have had a hard time finding examples to aspire to in terms of political theatre. ‘The Great Game’ the collection of plays about Afganistan just about fits the bill but the lack of political plays of note on the British stage at the moment is noticable. Be that politics with a little p or a big one, that offers answers and explainations or just opens up questions.

The playwright Athol Fugard has written in the Guardian newspaper this week that playwrights are ‘ failing to confront issues of injustice’ (see article below). And whilst there have been some issue or even specific works how many are memorable or in the league of for example ‘The Crucible’ or ‘The Caucasion Chalk Circle’? Even the kind of theatre that Fugard has aspired to in the past, theatre which ‘bears witness’ to injustice is lacking. This is slowly I belive starting to change. Not least in fringe venues and studio spaces but with the world in that state that it is in (a rich source of moving stories to be sure) we need more. I think the challenge is being laid down. And I have faith that there are dramatists out there more than able to rise to it

Athol Fugards article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/30/fugard-attacks-modern-dramatists

Emma Adams follow up article ‘Why can’t playwrights feel free to be political?’:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2010/sep/02/playwrights-political

Other intersting bits:

http://rs.resalliance.org/2009/05/26/climate-change-theatre/

http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/finally-good-play-about-climate-change

Advertisements