A vivid polemic about the dangers theatre faces in the digital age
In a personal journey that takes different narrative guises - reportage, memoir, conversations and critical analysis - Michael Kustow teases out answers to a fundamental question: Why is theatre such an enduring part of our being no matter how hard it is pressed? Starting from his own personal perspective and with war in Kosovo as a backdrop, Kustow begins with a sobering and often funny account of his Sisyphean efforts to produce Tantalus, a fifteen-hour theatre epic about the Trojan War by John Barton. Then turning his gaze to crucial theatre events of the past fifty years, Kustow explores many different paths: the rise of the Royal Shakespeare Company and its renewal of classical language; the creation of the National Theatre; the vanguard work of such pioneers as Jerzy Grotowski, Pina Bausch and Pip Simmons; television's on-off relationship with theatre; and the cutting-edge work of dramatists like Mark Ravenhill and companies like Théâtre de Complicité. Kustow's quest to uncover the roots of theatre leads him into encounters with important post-war and contemporary theatre makers such as Peter Brook, John Barton, Peter Hall, Tony Harrison, Ariane Mnouchkine, Peter Sellars, Robert Lepage, Pieter-Dirk Uys and Simon McBurney.
In a new Millennium, theatre@risk uncovers the qualities and values that make theatre needed, more than ever, in a world tidied by information technology and cultural globalization.