Episode two of our ‘History and Documentation’ season features Alison Croggon: author, poet and the most important contemporary theatre critic writing in Australia. She has really raised the bar when it comes to the complexity with which we approach performance criticism and what we expect from arts writers as a community. I know that I am not alone in citing her as a massive inspiration for my approach to arts writing.
This episode was a delight to record and Alison’s passion for what she does is unmistakable. As my co-host, Jana Percovic said “one of the beauties of recording a conversation is that it captures the tone of a person, something that doesn’t always come across in print, and Alison has this wonderful humour to her, a way of laughing while making a complex point.”
I’d also like to point out that another thing you get from this is how shit we are at remember the names of our own work. I already started the trend in the last episode by renaming the play A Mouthful of Birds, School for Birds and this week Alison renames her infamous blog and former stomping ground as Theatre Works which entertained me no end as I am very immature.
There is a good side to not being crushed by culture. I think in Europe you’re really aware of the centuries and centuries of Western Culture and it’s all been done. One of the beautiful things about Australian writing, culture and performance is this sense that that’s not hanging over everybody. I think at its best, there is a tremendous freedom in Australian performance and a huge intelligence and disrespect that is really healthy.
– Alison Croggon
Discussed in this episode:
the mutual dependency of blogs and independent theatre, Robert Brustein, when reviewers are incorrect, Requiem for the 20th Century, internet trolls and the cowardice of anonymity.
New episodes will be released every 2 weeks, and we have made quite an effort to make them as accessible as possible, on a variety of platforms. Stay tuned and enjoy!
Listen to the episode:
Our thanks to Sarah Walker for the photo of Alison.