On Mike Bradwell
Friday 9th July 2010
Yes, the sun is out and it’s time for a bit of honest enthusiasm. Can I recommend a book (I’m assuming people still read)? It is The Reluctant Escapologist: Adventures in Alternative Theatre by Mike Bradwell, who’s had a brilliant career, working with Mike Leigh, setting up Hull Tuck, and running the Bush Theatre between 1996 and 2007 (its glory years). Over this time, he has directed more than 30 shows at that venue, his spiritual home. Passionate advocate of new plays, and massive storyteller, I usually describe him as a great guy: big, hairy and Falstaffian, but he’s also much more. He is a very perceptive historian of our times, and anyone with the slightest interest in the radical past of the theatre — whether this is the Living Theatre, Grotowski or touring the land in a camper van — will benefit from reading this clearly written and engaging book. Here political passion meets a love of fun, and boy do the sparks fly! Arts bureaucrats and marketing folk get it in the neck! Fab stuff. Brilliant writing! The Reluctant Escapologist is published by Nick Hern Books, and there’s a Platform at the National Theatre in London at 6pm on Friday 16 July where Mike and myself will be discussing the book. See you there.