All entries for Friday 25 October 2013
October 25, 2013
Last week I had the privilege of visiting Nova Gorica in Slovenia to carry out background research for a study. Our client (I was visiting with my day job as consultant with Theatre Projects Consultants) is the mayor of this new city on the Italian border. He is an energetic and elegant man of forty with a vision to unite the cultures of his city with its Italian counterpart, the much older Gorizia, just next door. The border exists more in peoples minds than in reality as, both being EU states, there is no need for a checkpoint. Many folk live and work on opposite sides of the border and choose which country to shop in dependent on local prices.
It seems harder, however, to persuade people to travel a few hundered metres for arts events. Consequently, there is a Slovenian cultural centre in Nova Gorica (Slovenia) and two Slovenian cultural centres across the border in Italian Gorizia, just a few kilometres away. Nova Gorica also has one of the three Slovenian National Theatres opened in the 90s to mark the Slovenian culture in the west of the country. The other two are in the capital, Ljubljana and the eastern city of Maribor. Given that Nova Gorica has a population of 30,000, there is a lot going on in the area.
Now my interest, both professional and academic, is performance spaces and last week I saw some very unremarkable examples. What this reminds me is that theatre spaces are created by people for people who create performances for other people. I may have seen some terrible theatres, but I met some really wonderful people making interesting work despite it all. It will be fun to help them create a new venue.