Friday, February 18, 2005

Who leads for Theatreland?

Sheridan Morley in The Stage laments what he calls "a terrible trend towards theatrical anonymity" in the theatre. Apart from Nicholas Hytner at the National, he says, there seem to be no high profile leaders to put the case for theatre.
In the brave new world of spreadsheets we have lost that all-important figurehead, the man (or woman, this is not a sexist argument) with whom the buck can be seen to stop. Nobody is really accountable for anything, because in the end nobody is really there, they have disappeared into the crowd, no longer targets for the brickbats but equally undeserving of the bouquets. I still wish that, anywhere in the subsidised theatre since Olivier, we could point to an actor in charge of a company. In America, Roger Rees has just been appointed director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which is more than he or any other actor can expect to achieve over here in the foreseeable future.

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