As a certain teacher at Springfield Elementary would say, rubbing her temples: “Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean...”
Here’s part of his latest comment:
“I never feel the need to understand a text in order to direct it. If I read a script and feel that I understand it, I don't feel compelled to direct it. I have to feel that there is something there to discover, I have to feel that "investment" we were talking about, but I don't need to understand anything.”Alison Croggon, too, made an extraordinary contribution, giving us an insight into the mind of the poet.
“People are trained to decode poetry, instead of experiencing it as something in which "meaning" occurs at several levels - cerebral, sure, and also (and maybe, in my mind anyway, firstly) intuitive and emotional and sensual, something that is evoked by the sensual and material aspects of the language. Often - and this can be true of my work - the sonic and carnal aspects of language are foregrounded above semantic considerations.”Alison’s forensic ability with language and meaning makes her a great poet and formidable critic, but it can sometimes result in overreadings and overreactions -- where every choice of syllable (no matter how rushed or lazy) is treated as a clue or an indicator or some dastardly purpose... hence our superheated spat (over not all that much) at Theatre Notes.
Every week, more or less, TN sends out email alerts with a summary of what has been posted in the last week. In her latest missile -- I mean missive -- Alison explains that we have kissed and made up. Having said that, she does refer to me as Ms Boyd... possibly because I told the world I didn’t want to play Margaret Pomeranian to her David Crap-On on a proposed radio show. (I would have suspected her motives less if she had referred to herself as Mr Croggon... with me?) Hell, it’s not as if the ‘s’ and the ‘r’ keys are close together on the keyboard or anything, right? (Or that the same finger is used to hit both keys or anything, is it?!) So, I’m not going to overread... (As a certain teacher at Springfield Elementary would say, rubbing her temples: “Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean...”)
Funnily enough, when TMA started out as a theatre cricket (rubbing his legs together, making shrill noises) just under 20 years ago, we routinely encountered a “Chris Boyd, I thought you were a woman!” response. The first time, the speaker was broadcaster-turned-gallery director, the estimable Mary-Lou Jelbart. My reflex response was a “Thank-you very much” which won me still more Brownie Points (as it were). Maybe it was quoting Simone de Beauvoir and Sandra Bem in my fourth review... I was pegged as a “bloody feminist”. (Once again, thank-you very much!)
It’s also something of a badge of honour that one of the very few ‘firsts’ TMA has received in his tarnished academic career was for a Women’s Studies/Theatre unit. (And the lecturer wasn’t at all grudging!)
Enough about me. (Yeah, right!) We reckon we’re pretty good, here, in picking winners. In our first ballet reviews for the Herald Sun, we singled out a corps dancer for her extraordinary musicality and technique. A few years later she’s a soloist -- a rapid if not quite breakneck advancement through the ranks -- and now, in Yet Another of those Star-is-Born breaks -- she’s taking the female lead in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake in China following an injury to principal dancer Rachel Rawlins. So, our thoughts and best wishes are with Amber Scott.
The last time we pointed out a kid in the back row and went “hey, wow!”-- 15 years ago -- it was Nicole Rhodes. And she went all the way. Very, very quickly. (So quickly it caused a few hairline fractures...)
Anyway, we’re also heartily stoked -- if I can revert to ’70s surfer lingo for a moment -- to learn from Mistress Mess that she’s been accepted into QUT. You may recall MM abandoned Law this time last year to devote herself to dance, to give it a real shot. We’re already imagining the book deals that will result when she’s the next Sylvie Guillem! (Or, okay, the next Amber Scott!!) We wish her well. And hope she keeps writing as assiduously, and brilliantly, as she has this past year.
Okay, enough. The Melbourne Festival ends tonight... and we’re going home to watch repeats of Iron Chef, RocKwiz and, maybe, Criminal Intent. Mmmm, brain death... Or, perhaps, just to sleeeep. Wake me when the Sydney Festival line-up is announced.