Monday, February 20, 2006

Is theatre too sexual for young people?

With his new play for young people, Citizenship, soon to open at the National Theatre, Mark Ravenhill in The Guardian argues that a recent directive from the Welsh Assembly is seriously misguided.
In a new directive - which, it's feared, might soon be applied in England, too - the Welsh assembly states that kissing in school productions should be replaced by "a peck on the cheek or an embrace", and that characters should "hug each other in friendship". If this were applied to Citizenship, it would reduce the play to a nonsense. And how chilling the Welsh assembly's advice to teachers not to rely on "arguments about the artistic integrity of the text". It's vital to the production of Citizenship - and, yes, the artistic integrity of the text - that young people kiss and touch each other in a way that is sexually charged. Only through doing so can the young performers and their young audience make sense of the world and themselves.

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