As you saw the other day, I blogged, among others, about the importance of a conference taking place on Monday evening. When I first heard about it I was overjoyed that, finally, something formal and serious was taking place to discuss the issues of how blogging is changing the theatre landscape.
Although actually I couldn’t attend, I was able to stream it over the internet and catch word and thus be in touch with my peers about all the relevant debates that cropped up over the short period. It was encouraging to see institutions so highly regarded such as The Telegraph, The Guardian, Complicite and other bloggers were casting their view, in public, on what is and can hugely affect so many theatre makers’ lives. The white doves were finally being released – hurrah! Finally being released into just a bigger room?
Since the inaugural event, I have seen very little coverage of the goings on of that evening. For the past two days, other known theatre bloggers @LondonTheatre @Dramagirl @MattBoothman and I have been Twittering away over who said what, why and where and how this is all a vast step in the right direction. But as far as I’m aware, that’s about it.
Searching both the Guardian and Telegraph site, I could find no information about ‘Brickbats in Cyberspace‘ and by certainly no means a blog. It’s only been talked about and covered by a couple of us and in this way it leaves me feeling so disappointed. Perhaps what was discussed and what came out of it, is in fact so far behind the rest of the web 2.0 world that it won’t make any press at all. Perhaps the academics who were present can take their research away and file it into a thesis that no will really ever read.
I found everything that was discussed fascinating over the short time and took a great deal from it. Although a lot was stating the obvious – more voices is better for all, for example – it was still good to hear it in public, at a formal evening, from respected contributors in their fields and in front of spectators who do this stuff everyday too. It was a real sharing and passing on of ideas and information, but yet again, this information lacks the true freedom that new media and, in particular, the internet has been striving to achieve.
If the Brickbats of these institutions are prepared to debate their views on such vital subjects then great – but won’t they please stick their necks on the line a little bit and voice it in a wider sense of the world?
It has dawned on me how much harder we, as theatre bloggers, have to work in order to make ourselves known to the theatre world. Our understanding and engagement of critical theatre is plausible, identifiable and both constructive and supportive because no matter what we say, it is for the everyday good of theatre and helping it to stay alive. It is a cliché to use ‘no press is bad press’ but it still rides here in the sense that our coverage is adding every little bit – we just want everyone else to come and indulge in the coverage of theatre and the arts too and that includes great conferences such as that on Monday night.