“Introducing a new segment to both Theatrefullstop and New Ottawa Critics. As two independent blogger collectives, we are both inspired by what theatrically is happening beyond our borders. Each month, we will correspond with all the latest happenings in our cultural cities. This is an opportunity to learn, be inspired, communicate and collaborate!”- Lucy Basaba, Founder/Editor at Theatrefullstop
I discovered New Ottawa Critics earlier on in the year, and was immediately drawn by the fact that we both have very similar visions in regards to allowing young voices to air their views on the latest shows. I’m the founder and editor of a UK theatre website called Theatrefullstop which features theatre reviews and interviews. The purpose of starting up the site 4 years ago was to create a platform allowing for myself to write how I felt on the latest shows in London and beyond. I’ve been lucky enough since then to build up a team of talented and passionate theatre reviewers, and we look to highlight the work of emerging talent and productions that cover issues in a fresh way or an issue that perhaps doesn’t get as much coverage.
Both Brie and I thought it would be a great idea to start a cultural exchange, where we both share what’s happening culturally within our home cities. We here in the UK hope for yourselves to gain a greater insight as to what is happening here and vice versa. Theatre happens everywhere and we are living in an era where anyone from any part of the world can connect online in a matter of seconds. The UK is perhaps most known for the largest theatre festival in the world, Edinburgh. This will be talked about more in a future article. I’m aware that screenings of National Theatre plays are also available at selected cinemas, we’ve been lucky enough to review a few shows at the theatre, feel free to read a review of Twelfth Night and Our Country-A Work in Progress but again the National will be talked about more in a future article.
We are embracing the festival trend, with plenty of theatre festivals taking place. We have the Brighton Fringe Festival, a festival located on the coastal town showcasing new works to theatre loving audiences, and we have the Vault Festival, a festival based in the subterranean vaults underneath Waterloo station in London with a curated line up of cabaret, comedy, drama, film and events. Independent theatre journalism is enjoying its time in the spotlight; there are numerous bloggers and vloggers bringing a fresh insight into what’s currently happening theatrically and this is an exciting movement to watch. We are in an era where we can self publish, and this creates opportunities for emerging theatre creatives to showcase their work. We have reviewing networks that have really helped to champion new writing and the opinions of theatre trendsetters of tomorrow.
Diversity is also a strong talking point within theatre here. The question of how Theatre can appeal to all and include all is continually being asked and addressed which is great to see. We are living in an era whereby New Writing Nights are allowing for emerging artists to showcase snippets of their work to an encouraging audience. This is an exciting time for theatre as it allows anyone from any walk of life to organise events like these and bring creatives together as well as potentially breathe life into a future success. It’ll be interesting to see how this engages and inspires aspiring theatre makers.
We look forward to hearing about the Ottawa theatre scene and we’ll be back to tell you more about London.
To read a review of “2 My Country; a Work in Progress” on the Theatrefullstop website, visit here.
To read a review of “Twelfth Night” on the Theatrefullstop website, visit here.
To learn more about Theatrefullstop, visit here.
[Editor’s Note: you can read the New Ottawa Critics’ letter here!]