“He was not for an age, but for all time.” said Ben Johnson of William Shakespeare. The general consensus about Shakespeare was that he was so marvellously fair. Goodies and baddies went out of the window and in their place came an examination of the deep psychological drives of what may be called the human soul. Now we at LSS are proud to offer you the works of a contemporary playwright who imitates Shakespeare at least in that insight and objectivity.
James Graham is now 39 and grew up in a village bitterly divided by the miners’ strike of the 1980s. Perhaps this is why his plays are ostensibly political-like Shakespeare’s best. He covers such diverse subjects as Brexit, Rupert Murdoch and the bitter feuding of Gore Vidal and William Buckley. Yet the plays are so balanced and funny that even some of their subjects go to see them twice, as Rupert Murdoch is rumoured to have done with Ink.
There is something engaging about a media and political titan who can view an honest portrayal of themselves on stage. We cannot conceive of any past or present rulers of China and Russia doing so, and would take great care not to members of the cast, crew or audience of any such production. Murdoch believes in giving people what they want, not what educated people say they ought to want. He thinks the simple choices of the marketplace are more effectively democratic than a ballot. Perhaps this is a fallacy. But to sneer at Murdoch and his tribe of followers as so many do is to go down to massive political and economic defeat again and again and again.
What James Graham does is to open a space where we can discuss the oldest political question of all: do we construct on the way people actually are? Or do we aspire to something different and better? And be grateful-under Murdoch you are still free to ask that question. People in certain other places are not.
our link today from Dorian Lynskey of the Guardian covers the above issues in a refreshingly easy style
#freedom #humannature #theatre #rupert murdoch #gore vidal #william buckley #shakespeare