Magazine

Feature: Kate Champion

Date posted: 30 Sep 2011Author: STC

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When a show is 'devised' - it means not only is it invented, choreographed and written from scratch it is also still evolving in the weeks leading up to its opening.

This means that current news items have a chance to work their way into the show unexpectedly. Our show's subject matter explores present attitudes to contemporary parenting.

As I write this, leading up to our final rehearsal period in December, I find myself sifting through responses to the London riots and the hypotheses as to why they occurred and who is truly responsible. Obviously the answers are complex and multi-faceted but 'bad parenting' definitely emerges as a strong topic.

Here's a brief example - "As commentators agonised over the socio-economic significance of British youth swarming like zombies over our cities, my neighbour Louise, who has raised six boys, took one look at the TV news and said wearily: "They need a smacked bottom and to be sent to bed early". Quite so, but where were the adults to set those boundaries and patrol them? The riots were like a video game that kept on playing because no adult could find the remote control. They embarrassed Britain, those 'am-I-bovvered' kids smashing up police cars for the hell of it. The little blighters were clearly high on excitement and cruelty. It was Lord of the Flies, dressed by Adidas." Allison Pearson

Of course Sydney is far away from the heated atmosphere of London but I can't help but sense, more and more, that 'contemporary parenting' is being put under the spotlight like never before. Mind you there's always this quote from Socrates to put things back into an age old perspective!

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents and tyrannise their teachers." AUTHOR: Socrates (469-399 B.C.)

It's all grist for the creative mill! We're also keenly anticipating the first TV screening of The Slapas Never Did Me Any Harmwas initially inspired by the book's subject matter - it's in the air!

Never Did Me Any Harm, Wharf 1, 6 January - 12 February, 2012.