Monday 4 January 2010

confusion in the middle classes

When Dominic Cooke took over as the Royal Court's artistic director, he made some widely-reported remarks about wanting to represent the middle class audience on stage.

His comments were interpreted (semi-humourously) in terms of class and manners. But Cooke's point was that many plays concentrated on the dispossessed. He also wanted to see plays that explored the lives of those with wealth and power.

In yesterday's Observer, he went further in describing what it was he was after:

There's a deep, dangerous confusion in the middle classes at the moment ... How do you square the fact that you live this very comfortable life with the fact that we are destroying the planet? How do you square your life with the fact that you can only live like that if there's a whole load of people the other side of the world who have nothing? There's a huge problem in the project of liberalism, and I'm interested in probing that and its effect on the middle classes.

A play about the contradictions of liberalism, then, is also a play about climate change.

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