Tuesday, May 20, 2003


"Drama begins where politics and the civic and direct involvement leave off. It inhabits a different territory.

. . . And leave drama to the really dangerous world - the world of the imagination.

. . . And the irony is, all theatre is political in a profound way. Why? Because it is subversive. It can, without resort to the vote or the gun, alter climate, change opinion, laugh prejudice out the door, soften hearts, awaken perception. Of course it can, because humans learn not by precept (the exhortations of so much political theatre) but by imprinting. Yell at a child to be quiet and you are teaching him to yell.

. . . In the end, drama is, as Laurence Olivier said, “an affair of the heart”. It is to do with insight, at warp speed; it cuts to the quick. And it is - can be, should be - very potent. As René Descartes wrote: “Feeling is thinking.” And needs all the help we can give it.

(Guardian Unlimited | more ... Guardian Unlimited | a continuing series on political theatre)