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Villach – Tasha’s first thoughts

June 25, 2010

Have enjoyed reading what the 2 Lizzie’s have written on Villach. I just have to add to their lovely comments about the wonderful company on this trip. It has been such a treat to indulge in more learning and to share the experience with so many talented and wonderful people – part of the experience was definately the learning that comes from hearing of one another’s practice and experience – and that’s before you’ve added the international guests into the arena!

I would like to say that I’ve had plenty of time to reflect – but alas it is chaotic busy, but inbetween I’m trying to mull over stuff and these are a few of my first mullings:

Assetej speech by Gabi – most of this was lost in the translation but what i did find interesting was the way in which the german Assetej selects a ‘canon’ of children’s theatre shows (approx 10 shows) that are held up as being a model of best practice.  Given the changes to arts coucnil recently, there will be new ‘peer’ assesments, and as Ruth and I have both noticed there are frighteningly few new arts council appointed assessors with a background in early years or children’s theatre.  How does this impact on the scene in British theatre?  Would these assessors know quality theatre for children if they came across it?  Some shows might be more straightforward to assess but others, especially those created for the very young might not be assessed within the context of children’s development.  I know the Danish model also uses alot of peer reviews but there, there is an enormous amount of fantastic children’s theatre and plenty of people who do have the experience to review the shows on offer.  Is there a role for TYA-UK in this?  It seems to me that there ought to be some lobbying in this department from them.

The bridge: Lizzie has said alot about this already and I just want to echoe the great observations she has made.  As she mentioned I think we all took away something uniquely our own from that show, not just because the more abstract form allowed us to do this, but also because our varied language knowledge meant that we all understood different parts of the spoken word. I loved the image of Daniella trying to find the 7th colour of the rainbow (there were 6 performers inc musicians in total) and they used the colours of the rainbow to design the visual elements to it, but of course there were only 6 costumes. I realised later it was ‘pink’ that was missing – am not sure what Astrid would make of that!  The colours were beautufully woven though especially through the costume as they weren’t blocks of colour but more shades and variants on the theme of ‘yellow’ or ‘green’ etc.

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