It’s not everyday an Australian debate causes a stir overseas.
But our antipodean argument over The Birthday Party has done just that. The Guardian, a newspaper of some repute, has a feature up on its Theatre Blog about the dispute.
Says the Guardian’s blogger, Chris Wilkinson:
Perhaps the core problem is that director and critics see the role of the production to be fundamentally different. Meyrick thinks it succeeds because it is aiming to spark a much wider debate about Australian culture; the critics think it fails because, as Croggon puts it, “the possibility of bringing a tough and fresh angle on to Pinter’s work” is missed.
If I had to choose between praising theatre for examining society or praising it for re-examining the theatre, I would certainly opt for the former.
Amen to that, brother, I couldn’t agree more.