Thursday, October 18, 2007

If I were artistic director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival #2

Well, for a start, I'd do a sound check before a packed-out forum with Laurie Anderson. Punters have paid to see and hear the artist. If the sound was checked, then I'd be reassigning the so-called sound engineer/technician back to catering or wherever it was they strayed from.

How's this for disastrous? We couldn't hear Laurie and, when questions were asked, she couldn't hear us! (The speakers were facing forward.) Funnily enough, the only bits the audience could actually hear Loud And Clear were the questions, asked through roving hand-held microphones. Kristy and Laurie certainly couldn't hear the plaintive cries of "we can't hear you"...

2. Man, I'd seriously reconsider the decision not to distribute programmes at the shows. Okay, if it's about paper and waste, I can grudgingly understand the decision. But if it's about saving $30,000 (which I read somewhere) then the decision sucks. Make them available by gold coin donation in a box fer cryin' out loud which they do at the Malthouse. (That way, you don't have to employ programme sellers.)

I am, of course, an unreconstructed hoarder. But I love being able to step away from my computer, wander down to what would -- in a normal house -- be called a second bedroom (my walk-in filing cabinet number 1, of four) and rummage through the "cattle dogs" of virtually every show I've seen in my life. I can lay my hands on programmes from the very first Melbourne Festival (well, "Spoleto Melbourne Festival of Three Worlds") in 1986 in less than a minute.

3. I'd be issuing personal invitations to the loud-mouth festival bashers (you know who you are) to come and see shows like Half Life and The Temptation of St Anthony and Laurie Anderson and even some of the weirder stuff. Several thing are undeniable about the 2007 festival: houses are full, audiences are often wildly enthusiastic (the great temptation had a standing, screaming ovation on closing night, as well) and there are more youngies filling the theatres than ever before. I reckon the mean age of punters at the first performance of MedEia was half mine! Seriously!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are program notes for many productions here:

1:21 PM  
Blogger Chris Boyd said...

Thanks Anon.

You can also go to the Melbourne Festival home page and click on program notes in the left hand column.

To be fair to the Melbourne Festival, I have never whinged about Chunky Move only having virtual/digital programmes! (Something they introduced last year.)

Here's a hot link to the Festival "Cattle Dogs".

4:25 PM  
Blogger Chris Boyd said...

P.S. But I would make them available in html form to be read on-line as well. (Much smaller download, much less bandwidth required, yada yada yada.)

4:28 PM  

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