As anyone who is in any way involved with or follows theatre in London knows by now, yesterday afternoon Battersea Arts Centre was ravaged by fire. A large part of the building, including the Grand Hall and the offices, has been destroyed. This morning I read a small fraction of the overwhelming number of reactions on Twitter and other social media. Some people, like Catherine Love, have written beautiful, eloquent blog posts about it. The tone of responses is often one of shock, disbelief and sadness. Many expressed their love for the venue and the shows it has put on since its opening in 1980. Although it’s difficult to find a positive outlook on situations like these, the past day and a half did at least make it unmistakably clear how much the BAC means to lots of people.
I think one of the top things people in London like to complain about is how expensive everything is. Especially when we go somewhere one doesn’t have to take out a second mortgage on their house to afford a three course dinner at a nice restaurant. Oh wait, did I say house? I meant the single bedroom you rent for the monthly price of a second hand Jaguar or a small island near Scotland. So, yes, complaining . . . I’m sure you get the gist.
Oh, look! It's my first feature for London Calling! Click the link and have a look at what life at the National Theatre will be like under its new artistic director Rufus Norris: http://londoncalling.com/features/life-after-nicks-at-the-national
Last month I finally got the chance to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: visit Stratford-upon-Avon, or, as I like to call it, Shakespeare Disney. Although it was a great experience to see the RSC do a show in their ‘spiritual home’ and they have the best theatre restaurant in the history of ever, my main reason for visiting was that I wanted to walk around the place where William Shakespeare grew up and see what it’s like.
Written for Everything Theatre
Between BBC programming, poppies at the Tower and the Sainsbury’s Christmas ad it will not have escaped your notice that there was something going on last year. A centenary to be exact: a whole century passed since the outbreak of the First World War. In all honesty, I didn’t realise it would be quite this big. I’m from The Netherlands, a country that was neutral in WWI, so it’s the second one that’s the main event in our history books. The Dutch way of commemorating is different as well: a much quieter, more understated affair. So when 2014 rolled around I was taken aback by the sheer extent of the centennial activity. Suddenly it was everywhere: on TV, in the papers and in the place where I encountered it most, the theatres.