LETTERS 29.9.18

Swan song
“Further damage to the industry,” Clare Watson? (“Burton pans Black Swan season, Voice, September 22, 2018)
The theatre industry has already been struck a lethal blow.
One of the best ever plays written, Angels In America, was recently performed at the Black Swan Theatre.
It was a play in two parts, but incredibly the second part was never performed.
Why? Lack of audience, bad casting and direction perhaps, and do we really need to get actors from over east when we have Perth actors who have won awards in Sydney?
Amateur actors? How senseless to put a seasoned professional out of work yet have the theatre’s offices overflowing with paid receptionists/publicists and the like.
Not only have we lost Deckchair Theatre in Fremantle etc, but also Shakespeare in the Park – a wonderful, packed audience enjoying the bard and directed by Paige Newmark, who like Sally Burton left for the UK.
I speak as a retired professional who has worked in theatre and TV in the UK, US and Europe.
I finished my career working as an assistant director/choreographer in the United States.
There our desire was to please the audience: a selection of classic plays and one musical each year.
By the way, Ms Burton is right, WAAPA has wonderful musical theatre students. The musical produced full houses and and more money to finance the plays – it was a tremendous success.
Ms Burton is quite right to contrast the dynamism of the WA Ballet and WA Orchestra with the paralysis of our State Theatre.
Surely it is time for Ms Watson to resign and for a talented local director such as Adam Mitchell or Laurie Cullen Tate to be given the job.
Avril Fleming
Montreal Street

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