Rescue package or not, the arts sector must not return to old ways

I’m still trying to digest this week’s news that our previously ‘small state’, laissez-faire government is making a dramatic intervention to rescue the arts. It’s unexpected, unprecedented, and the relief across the entire culture and creative sector is palpable. I’m glad the government has listened to audiences and communities across the country saying that culture Read More

Reclaiming history: Dreadnought South West’s The Cause

How far would you go to win your rights? Break the law? Risk your health? Risk others’ safety? The Cause – the latest production from Dreadnought South West – wrestles with just these questions. Over the course of 100 intense minutes, The Cause imagines a fractious meeting between two historic figures – Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst Read More

How diverse is MA’s ‘Manifesto for Tolerance and Inclusion’?

21st-century museums use the material culture of the past and present to encourage discussion and debate, right? To share ideas and open up conversations. So why then, does the new Museums Association ‘Manifesto for Tolerance and Inclusion’ (February 2017) respond to the US Travel Ban by adopting an unequivocally pro-immigration stance? Bear with me… If Read More

Questions about quality

“The first line, perhaps even the first word, makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up”. That’s what Booker Prize winning novelist Ben Okri once said, when asked about great writing. It’s a wonderful description of the magic of great art: that point where an artist’s vision, endeavour and execution meet relevance Read More

Olympic gold and thinking about value: The stories we tell and the stories we don’t

In the beginning, I was enjoying the Rio Olympics: none of your Premier League football primadonnas demanding obscene wages; just ordinary self-effacing folk competing in sports more commonly ignored by the media. It’s been a breath of fresh air to watch outdoor diving (probably my favourite event) against a backdrop of the metropolis of Rio de Read More