Innocent abroad: late night return ruled out public transport as option for yesterday’s Brighton day trip so casually decided to visit Farnham Maltings ‘on the way’ – turns out to be far from ‘on the way’. It was worth the trip though, the Maltings team speak a lot of sense and their philosophy for encouraging theatre seems spot on – the building’s impressive too.
The day’s main event, after catching up briefly on Amanda Hadingue’s adventures with Complicite was dinner with the Arts Council.
It was relatively recently that I learned that there actually was a Council at the heart of The Arts Council of England. The departing Chair – Liz Forgan – was keen that, as a break in the midst of two days spent strategising, THE Arts Council should have input from some artists (there are artists amongst the council). The lot fell to theatre to provide the artists and I was one of the four to be asked.
In a small restaurant commandeered for the purpose we spent 30 minutes ‘in conversation’ before joining in the meal. We sitting at a table each for the first two courses and a second table for desert and coffee, it felt that this was we’re the powerful conversations happened as I was quizzed about ACE policies, the theatre landscape, frustrations, experiences, predictions and opinions. It genuinely felt as if I was able to send up messages from ‘the shop floor’ directly to ‘the bosses’ – whilst eating delicious food. All that then remained was a late night drive back to Brum “, not via Farnham