Friday, 6 August 2010

The collapse of European communism, linked with the Berlin Wall, had "a profound effect on British theatremaking" claims Haydon (2009), arguing that "it was possible for British theatremakers to affect a kind of ersatz revolutionary stance", providing a strong and "convenient position" to be critical of the government or capitalism, that "there was a sense that idealism could be powerful, that it could have regime-changing consequences".

In Britain, "it felt as if we'd lost any meaningful opposition" while eastern Europeans were celebrating their newly found freedom...
"A new age of powerlessness had begun, from which I believe we're yet to fully recover. While old leftist playwrights such as David Hare and David Edgar wrote about this changed political landscape (all the way from The Shape of the Table to Berlin, new dramatists began to examine the bleakness of life under unopposed capitalism). Change became personal at best, impossible at worst. Theatre started to look at ways for idealists to co-exist with capitalism. 'We're all part of the system, so let's all try to be nice' seemed to be the new attitude... we now live in a country where half of the banks are virtually state-owned – and there's no talk of an alternative. It feels very much like three generations watching the Berlin Wall being smashed also experienced the breaking of something much bigger." (Haydon, 2009)