Thursday, July 08, 2010

Find a play. Squat a building. Steal a van. Now make a show | Mike Bradwell | Stage |

I want to remind theatre-makers that it is possible and even desirable to make their theatre outside the warm embrace of the theatrical establishment. Between 1966 and 1974, over 200 itinerant alternative theatre companies sprang up all over Britain, presenting entertaining, provocative and incendiary new work throughout the country. Perhaps the time has come to go on the road again.

In the early days of punk, the fanzine Sideburns published a drawing of three guitar chords with the caption:

Here's a chord. Here's another. Here's a third. Now form a band.

My version would go:

Find a play. Squat a building. Steal a van. Now make a show.

We may indeed be living in a new golden age of theatre, but even if we are, I would still like to think that, lurking in a dark alleyway round the back of every new £15m glass and steel culturally non-elitist Shopping Mall Playhouse and Corporate Entertainment Facility is a gobby and pretentious 20-year-old with a passion for real theatre, a can of petrol and a match.