Good Week / Bad Week

Good week for aspiring artistic directors of major London theatre institutions considering a career change. Nick Hytner will not stay at the National beyond 2013.

Bad week for Aristotle.  Steve Waters thinks he “didn’t know anything about theatre.”

Good week for self-interest in Yorkshire.  In an open letter to the Guardian, leading lights of the region’s arts community call on the government to spare them the scalpel in the coming cuts, saying that the are a force “for optimism”.  Which pessimistic public services do these great leaders think should be cut in order to ringfence arts funding?  Museums apparently: “no other country requires its taxpayers to fund free admission for wealthy foreign tourists.”  Following this rationale, of course, we should expect the West Yorkshire Playhouse et al. to introduce differentiated pricing models to ensure that nobody from beyond our shores gets to see Lenny Henry play Othello off the back of our hard earned taxes.

Bad week for David Birrell.  The actor was shot in the eye by a misfiring pistol during the climactic scene of Passion at the Donmar.  The Telegraph reported that “online blogs” (as opposed to the offline kind, presumably) were “abuzz with news of the accident”.  The Independent helpfully offered a catalogue of other theatrical accidents under the heading “Exit stage left (bleeding)”.

Good week for Rory Kinnear.  He not only survived his duel uninjured, but earned much enthusiasm for his new Hamlet at the National.  Leaving aside Libby Purves’ now customary five stars, only the FT and the West End Whingers failed to award it four.  We don’t do anything as vulgar as stars here, but suffice to say that Sans Taste doesn’t think the critics have got it too wrong this time.