About Season’s Greetings

Friday 10th December 2010

Season’s Greetings. Photo: Catherine Ashmore
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This week, I ventured out to National Theatre to see a revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s 1980 comedy, Season’s Greetings. The best that I can say about this show is that it is almost three hours of generally harmless fun. But sitting there, amid the gales of laughter, I did wonder why the huge resources of this flagship theatre have been devoted to this thin and silly play (which is in what I can only assume to be a moment of senility, or maybe subtle irony (and too clever for me!), compared to Chekhov in the programme). Okay, with funding cuts looming in the arts, it makes sense for Nicholas Hytner, the artistic director of the National, to adopt a populist stance. To be able to say that his theatre attracts and entertains large audiences. But shouldn’t this theatre be something more than a very successful palace of varieties? Wouldn’t it be good to see it staging the work of our most innovative and daring directors? Or broadening, rather than narrowing, our repertoire? What about staging some unknown European plays? Just an idea…

3 Comments

  • Crazeyb commented

    on Tuesday 14th December 2010 at 9:12 am

    I just raised this suggestion for the same reasons in a paper I wrote for college recently where I developed a mock season at the NT. My plays included a translation of a huge modern Chinese hit called Rhinoceros In Love, Supple's upcoming 1,001 Nights epic, and Katie Mitchel's cinematic version of Miss Julie. The others were Shaw's Fanny's First Play, and Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism
    With a Key to the Scriptures.
    Whattaya think?
  • Aleks Sierz commented

    on Wednesday 15th December 2010 at 8:14 am

    Sounds good to me...
  • TheatreMad87 commented

    on Friday 17th December 2010 at 3:23 pm

    This is no old debate. We all know the real reason is revenue. The Olivier and the Lyttleton are there to pull in the crowds and the sponsorships so that the Cottesloe can do random, weird stuff like Or You Could Kiss Me or that disco thing with a catwalk in the middle of the auditorium.

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