On Tuesday night I had child care duties, which was a shame as I had wanted to attend an event called Panic Button, hosted by Kindle Theatre downstairs in a Birmingham pub (the pub is kind of upside down, the downstairs in this place is equivalent to the upstairs in other places). Panic Button an event at which fragments of performance material that has yet to become a show get tried out in front of a complicit audience. B-Theatre have been hosting an equivalent night called Pilot for a while now. The publicity always stirs my conscience: I never go.
Wednesday daytime Simon, the genial Pilot of Pilot, set in motion a discussion day for Mid*Point, which is a gathering of Midlands based theatre companies. The subject was “How Do We Work Together To Make Great Theatre Happen” – or something similar. The ‘Open Space’ format of the event, in which delegates determine topics to form a multi-stranded agenda which they then chair themselves, worked well. I facilitated a useful discussion focusing on what can be shared between companies. Later I walked in on a discussion just as someone was saying “If only Stan’s Cafe, Talking Birds or Theatre Absolute knew how good it would be if they came along to a Pilot event”. So then I did know. Apparently it would be very good. So we will. After some discussion it became clear I have been an old reactionary in my approach to what BAC would call a Scratch Night. I’ve already thought what Stan’s Cafe could do at the next Panic Button or Pilot.
We have always been keenly aware of our duties towards the next generation, the problem comes when two new generations both demand your attention simultaneously.