Feature in Issue 23-4 | Winter 2011

To paraphrase the artist Richard Hamilton: what makes today’s Total Theatre Magazine so different, so appealing? We like to think that it is the emphasis placed on contemporary theatre practice rather than theory – and in particular, our championing of the voice of the artist.

In this edition of the magazine, you’ll find plenty of artists flexing their voices. Upfront, there’s the first instalment of a new three-part feature series, Work in Progress, which focuses on the creation of a new show – in this case, Living Structures’ Leviathan, which will premiere mid-2012. Other manifestations of the ‘artist diary’ format can be found in Alexander Roberts’ reflection on RageWalksLondon, which he made for the BR-116 festival, presented in collaboration with LIFT (the London International Festival of Theatre); and in Philip Watkinson’s piece exploring the role of chance. Phil is a young emerging artist, just graduated, but he has been careful to place the documentation of his new discoveries within the context of the artists who have gone before him (such as John Cage, Fluxus, and Jacques Lecoq) and whose territory he is sharing. Our regular Voices feature has someone a little further along the line of experience as its subject – Vesturport’s Gisli Örn Gardarsson. And our ‘artist, review thyself’ feature Being There takes a threeway look at Red Earth’s environmental art / performance walk piece CHALK.

We also pride ourselves on our insider knowledge of key artists and companies working in contemporary theatre and performance. The Works brings a knowledgeable eye to a body of work by an established artist or company: in this case, it’s Gandini Juggling (whose latest show Smashed comes to the London International Mime Festival 2012), and the eyes are those of Thomas Wilson, a long-time Gandini admirer who has followed the company’s work avidly over the years. Our reviews section includes a very knowledgeable appraisal of the Suspense London Festival of Puppetry by Beccy Smith, and a detailed review-essay by Mischa Twitchin reflecting on the RSC’s revival of the Marat/Sade.

Although our emphasis will always be on UK theatre practice, Total Theatre has also been characterised by its strong international connections – and indeed much of the work that we cover crosses national as well as artform boundaries. So with a face out to the wider world, this edition also brings you the first of an ongoing series called Worldview that will focus on a key company or group of artists working outside of the UK – Brazil’s LUME Teatro kick us off.

The end of one year and beginning of another is always a good moment for change. In August 2011, we set up our new website, Total Theatre Review, as a sister project to Total Theatre Magazine on a trial run. We are pleased to say that the pilot has been a success, so we will be launching the website officially in 2012. You’ll perhaps have noticed that some reviews and news content has already shifted online, and this shift will continue, with this edition of Total Theatre Magazine being the last that will carry the Update section in its current format.

We are also saying goodbye to our columns in this edition. I would like to say a big thank you to Pippa Bailey and Laura Eades (aka The Canny Granny) for the work they have done on Out & About and Home Truths over the years. As part of our reworking of the magazine and website content for 2012, you will find new regular blogs surfacing at www.totaltheatrereview. com

As the website develops and grows, Total Theatre Magazine will in the meantime be continuing to bring you in-depth feature articles, extended reviews and festival round-ups, and previews of the coming season – available in print and electronically on PDF.

So here’s to new beginnings! We wish all of our readers and contributors, and all the artists, past and present, who have inspired them, a happy and productive 2012.

This article in the magazine

Issue 23-4
p. 4