But What About The Mousetrap?
BBC News this week is rolling out the arts stories politically left, right and centre from 'Regional theatres need to be more radical' to 'Tate open a Live Art gallery space / wank fest' but it has left me with a strange question - '...but what about The Mousetrap?'
Regional development has become a bit of a buzz word / sure fire way of getting funding with the arts council, anything in which the artist touches the hand of local Greggs workers seem to push their buttons. I don't like this culture in which we fund/elevate 'the artist' to an esteemed status of social healing because we feel 'the arts' solves social issues, it doesn't, I know it could but most of the time it's people who went to university putting on avant garde movement about nudity and eggs shouting into a microphone and feminism - edgy. If I were a trend analyst I'd say the current done thing in the arts is 'experiemental' which echos the BBC article - apparently we want regional theatres to chuck out The Mousetrap (why am I so obsessed with this play?) and get in that American woman who throws fish at people, but who does that really benefit? The artist and the ego, a small group of people who identify with the label 'live artist' and the 'sector' - question mark!
I could go on forever about my boredom for (if you are a live artist reading this) you and your ethics but the question I want to pose is with all this emphasis on 'the new' do we create a culture where youth and the young is our only diversity and is it right we loose our sectors heritage? Having rep work like We Will Rock You etc I think is truly radical, as much as I love alot of you cunts who travel the country from one live art fest to the next funding hotspot (currently the east) your never performing to real, real people are you? Your looking out to a bunch of art students with green hair, the local Guardian readers and a small group of (social media) fans. We Will Rock You attracts an audience that's never been to theatre and doesn't plan to miss the latest Simon Cowell TV show, it engages 'them' to pay for art, enjoy it and encourage others to attend - now I think that is radical. If we encourage a culture in which pieces like the Mousetrap/We Will Rock You are not welcome I think we loose an audience who wouldn't engage with our end of the arts and surely that does more damage than good? How ever naff we think these pieces are the are ones putting bums on seats without funding and still find a way of making the arts truly accessible.
Maybe I am projecting my own feelings towards the experimental - with my latest project I've moved away from what Exeunt would call 'experimental' with Camp but looking at its audience or 'demographic' of older gays, under 26's and local people I'm more than happy to take the experimental badge off and deliver some good art to real people.
As for the Tate's live art space - great to see so many emerging UK artists creating work that's really accessible being used for the inaugural season, as if.