Devoted and Disgruntled

Phelim McDermott, co-artistic director of Improbable in London, offered this recently on the OSLIST

In preparation for next weekend when I also facilitate my first open space event(!) I put together an invitation which was about how to make things better in our theatre community. It was because I felt passionately that things weren’t as good as they could be in theatreland and I was fed up of hearing myself moan and not doing something about it. The invite was called “devoted and disgruntled.” It’s had an extraordinary response and we have gone beyond the capacity of our space, with 200 people signed up and fifty on a waiting list.

This is a great example of what I always coach clients to do in their invitations: tell the truth. I am devoted to this thing AND I’m disgruntled. That last part is the tough one, and I’m guessing it’s the part of Phelim’s invitation that really makes it sing to others who want something more. I’ve no doubt that they’ll create that “more” when he opens the space for that next weekend.

UPDATE: Phelim published in The Guardian in London… On the surface, British theatre is in its healthiest state in years. But is this buzz of activity hiding a creative slump, in which celebrity and ‘ticking boxes’ are prized over innovation? Here, four writer-directors argue that the theatre is in trouble – and offer their visions for the future. —The Guardian (click and scroll down for Phelim’s section of the story.

WHAT HAPPENED: In short, lots of good things. Reported here and here and here.