Saturday, 7 April 2007

The Lack Of Theatricality In Global Warming (Rearrange The Words To Suit)

I have just spent a week at the National Student Drama Festival, and found it interesting there that of all the relevant topics that were tackled (terrorism, child abuse, the overriding problems with information access on the internet), no one decided to take any kind of spin on the global warming "crisis" that is the buzz word on everyone's lips at the moment. Look at the fashion shows in Paris, New York and Milano over the last month. They are a definite reaction to the increasingly drab, colorless future of the world that we are being presented with and hammered with every day in the mainstream press.

So why do so many theatrical media - a series of art forms that are becoming increasingly important and relevant in commenting on the world we see around us - choose not to focus on one of the most headline grabbing, media saturated events of the last several years? Is it because it is much harder to represent something so abstract on stage? Surely not. The theatre, at the risk of sounding cliched, is a virtual imagination factory that enables commentary on virtually any kind of subject matter or topic that one can imagine. Why steer clear of something so relevant as global warming? Why avoid such a vastly important subject? Surely the media furore surrounding every new discocery and event related to the super event that global warming has become is the perfect fodder for any kind of creative commentary. The pretty little polar bears stranded on an iceberg! The constant scientific debate on the subject and how such debates may affect our future! The massive impact it may have on the day to day living of the human raee! It's perfect fodder.

Is it because war is so much more glamorous and sensational? Is it because it is a subject that can dramatized in a much more evocative and awe insipiring manner? Is it because a directly human drama is easier to work with than a seemingly metaphorical one? One cannot be sure...

What's interesting is now. Without a doubt. There is no minute in a creative industry other than the now, as it effects everything we produce and everything in the world around us. Every single show that was being created around the time of the London bombings was drastically shaped by the event, whether subconsciously or otherwise. Why then does endless war and human tragedy receive so much theatrical coverage (at NSDF 07 at least) but an event with so much more coverage and potential relevance to our future lives receive so little? It is an interesting question, and surely one that deserves further analysis in a theatrical forum? So many other abstract creative media have commented on it, why not us?

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