Feature in Issue 15-3 | Autumn 2003

Politics and performance wander in and out of relationship with each other, and in this issue we see, in 2003, the evidence of a heightened social and political awareness in theatre-makers of all sorts.

Geoff Beale of Ophaboom has spent the summer in France, witnessing and taking part in the furore surrounding the artists' strikes that have rocked the summer's festivals, a dispute about benefit payments having escalated into something much broader about the status and value of artists. Here in England, we have seen the LIFT family-friendly season of summer events, which has placed the focus on theatre made by and/or for younger people. In the conference held as part of this season, young artists and theatre-makers from all over the world came together to explore their process and practice. There are reviews of some of the LIFT shows by adult/child reviewing partnerships and a report on the conference by Jessica Naish. who has also written a feature on the Little Herberts' Dugout! project which took children out of the black box to explore their respons. es to war, peace, propaganda and survival through multi-artform performance,

Although responses to war and terrorism are understandably at the front of many peo ple's minds at the moment, there are other ongoing social/political concems for theatre - one being the poor representation within the sector of people of African or Asian heritage. In past issues of Total Theatre Magazine, we have made a very small start in investigation of why this might be and, perhaps more importantly, discussed future possibilities for a more diverse theatre culture. In this issue there is a report from Decibel's Manchester showcase of UK multicultural performance work held earlier this summer.

Elsewhere, we have a feature on the making of Metaphysique's new theatre-clown show 'Soul in a Suitcase', an interview with Frank Wilson, director of the Stockton International Riverside Festival and a feature from Karen Glossop on how cpt's Sprint festival has supported and nurtured emerging artists and theatre companies.

And we can't speak of festivals without mentioning the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Once again, the Total Theatre Awards was a major event at Edinburgh. For a full rundown on the winning and shortlisted companies, see our special centre-pages feature.

And we have an extra-large reviews section this issue, with reports from Edinburgh and elsewhere... A veritable comucopia of total theatre served up for your delectation and delight. Dorothy Max Prior editorial@totaltheatre.org.uk

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-3
p. 4