Saturday, 21 May 2011

State of play of the Union

1974 by Teatro Meridional
©L. Rossetti, Phocus Agency
 “Europe is not a continent, it’s an idea, a vision of the world.”  
When he accepted the Europe Theatre Prize in 2007, Canadian director Robert Lepage could have been quoting Robert Schumann, whose proposal in May 1950 became the foundation for the European Union. Fifty years later, the issues have shifted from preventing war to protecting the economy, but the goal of cooperation remains.

One of the many projects created and funded by the now 27 EU countries, the Europe Theatre Prize recognises work that bridges European borders. In April, the 14th Prize was awarded to German director and European icon Peter Stein, in St Petersburg, Russia’s imperial “window to the west” itself a city of over 80 theatres. The event was attended by a few hundred journalists, directors, actors and VIPs from all over the continent, with only two things in common: interest in theatre and a general lack of ability to speak Russian. Or Icelandic, Finnish, Czech or Portuguese, which is where the winners of the festival’s other award, “New Theatrical Realities”, hailed from.   

Read the rest of the article at the Irish Eyes site

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Working rights on May Day

Great sunny productive May Day Sunday - I made a commitment (gulp) to co-chair the Communications Committee for ACP; had a lovely coffee chat with Brendan and then Gail at Tribeca, did a fun ACP tour with foks from Cambridge and Pennsylvania, and then, instead of rooting for more Robert B Parker novels at the American Library shelves because it was closed for the holiday, spent an hour on a warm park bench in the Champ de Mars, with the Eiffel Tower looming over.
Lots of families; I rediscovered the cruelty of children and their intense focus on the moment, from a sobbing little girl chasing a boy who'd stolen a bright red toy, to a stoic little boy squatting in the dirt to capture a live wasp in a plastic beastie box. In contrast, his friend watched, jumping up and down, aghast, fascinated, nervous.
We adults have the same capacities for cruelty and fun, but we get so distracted, uptight and stressed - speaking of which, I totally forgot that this weekend is the one-year anniversary for buying my apartment! And my OECD twitter account is about to flip to 10,000 followers! Break out the champagne.