‘The April Blog’
Someone somewhere in an ITD meeting recently decided that it would my responsibility next to write something for the blog. ‘The April Blog’ it’s been called in emails and I guess it’s significant or at least symbolic because it’s the first blog produced by us as a National Portfolio Organisation. National Portfolio Organisation, NPO, what does it mean and how does it feel? Well actually not that different, everything is better organised, funding is secured over 4 years so it’s easier to plan and Julie Brown our producer now gets paid, but it’s still just as hard to make a show.
Personally the NPO status feels like a vindication of a life spend exploring the possibilities of theatre outside of mainstream drama. I applied for and got my first financial support from The Arts Council of Great Britain (as it was then) in 1981, it was for a show called Dammerungstrasse 55 and was made with the company I co-founded on leaving university; Impact Theatre Co-operative. The company folded in 1986 but the individuals involved are still going strong; Richard Hawley is still an actor, currently in Coronation street. Ditto Tyrone Huggins in Black Men Walking. Graeme Miller is a successful artist, Steve Shill works in the US directing for HBO, and Claire MacDonald is among many other things ‘Thinker in Residence’ at The Live Art Development Agency. So one way or another all still making work, and Arts Council England in its different guises has down the years supported all of us, and in my case still is, so thank you Arts Council England, for continuing to make my life so stressful.