I was going to write about Robert Smith of The Cure and the video of him that went viral over the weekend for this week’s Arts View.
(If you missed the video, watched by over 10 million now, an American TV journalist asks him, with a rather large amount of enthusiasm, how excited he is to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his answer is sarcastically downbeat). I went through my files, though, and discovered I have covered in this column the issue of interviewees not playing ball in the past (Ian Botham and Tom Courtenay were my betes noires when I interviewed them for the Yorkshire Post). Plus, I like to be positive so I thought I’d celebrate something instead.
Last week I travelled to Wales to the powerhouse venue Theatr Clwyd. The venue has had an extraordinary run of form of late, with its recent massive success being Home, I’m Darling, written by Laura Wade, starring Katherine Parkinson and which ventured from the Welsh hills to the National Theatre, the West End and back again.
I was in Wales to catch up with Liam Evans-Ford, who some may remember as the producing wunderkind who brought Shakespeare to Ripley Castle with Sprite Productions, the company he and his wife Hester ran for a decade from 2004. He also produced Blood and Chocolate in York and the York Mysteries. He’s now the Executive Director at Theatr Clwyd.
The theatre’s artistic director is Tamara Harvey, who some may recognise from her work at West Yorkshire Playhouse or Sheffield Crucible. While chatting with Liam, we talked about the exciting news, released that day, of the identities of the new joint artistic directors of Paines Plough. The London theatre is recognised as one of the country’s best places for emerging writing talent and the new artistic directors are Katie Posner and Charlotte Bennett.
If those names seem familiar, Katie has worked extensively for York based Pilot Theatre company and York Theatre Royal, directing a number of their shows over the past decade. Charlotte also worked with York Theatre Royal and is the former creative producer of Leeds-based Rash Dash. Do you see where I’m going with all of this? I’m not saying that Yorkshire is responsible for nurturing talent that has helped to create an extraordinary level of success we appear to be enjoying in British theatre. I’ll let you read the above and join the dots yourself.
Once you do that, perhaps choose to be more like the enthusiastic TV reporter, embracing positivity, rather than the subject of her interview, emitting snark and truculence from every pore. Life’s better when you’re an enthusiast – and when you look at the connecting dots above, you’ll see there’s plenty to be enthusiastic about.