Thursday, May 13, 2010

Re: the Singapore Arts Festival Blog

I've just blasted the National Arts Council Festivals Department on my blog for refusing to give the Flying Inkpot the tickets they asked for. Less than a week before the Festival began, they only agreed to supply 8 out of 13 tickets requested. No other theatre company has ever treated us so shabbily.

Read about it here.

But here's a little something extra: I'm feeling a little guilty about the whole situation. Why?

Reason #1. My own ticket allocation is not affected. This is because I pulled out of doing my reviews for the Flying Inkpot at the last minute. Why? Because the plays I'd decided to cover were "Cargo" and "Football, Football", and the Straits Times had later approached me to review these same plays.

I felt bad about cancelling these ticket requests with Inkpot and the Festivals Department, but they were pretty cool with it in the end. We've done this kind of thing before. In the end, it's the same person reviewing, but for a different company. Kenneth and Matthew volunteered to take over my review commitments.

Reason #2. I was told when I set up the Festival blog that me and my team of four or five could have "some" tickets. I went and assembled a team of about 20, so we could cover all the shows, and receive comps to them, too. And all our comp requests were approved.

The thing is, we're not going to be doing in-depth, incisive, Inkpot-standard reviews of the shows we're watching. That wasn't part of the agreement. The idea was just to write "something".

Some of us, like Rui An, will probably write really analytical reviews, but most of us will post a more personal response. And that's if we're lucky - so far, most of the rest of the team hasn't blogged much at all.

So I'm feeling a wee bit responsible for this mess. The least I can do is decry it and confess it.

Yurg. It also feels silly to go on about this when the Yong Vui Kong verdict is coming up on Friday. Also PinkDot on Saturday. I'll be there.