So yesterday more than 100 people gathered in John Frost Square to protest about cuts to the Arts in Newport. We couldn't be there unfortunately, although I'm not entirely sure organised protest is my bag anyway, but I was so glad to hear that there are people in Newport who feel so strongly about cuts to the arts that they're willing to go and shout loud and proud about it, however...
This comes with a strange contradiction because last night I cared enough about Arts in Newport that I actually went to some, which none of the other protesters but one can say they did.
Brent Morgan (in my estimations the MIGHTY Brent Morgan) brought his wonderful, bizarre, welcoming, warm, down right inspirational Scratch Theatre Night Scratch That Itch to Newport for the very first time... And me, Antonio Rimola, Lauren Brown and Ryan Nolan were the only people from Newport who attended. There were more people from Swansea and Cardiff. Over all there was 12 of us up stairs at the free event in Le Pub. I felt ashamed.
From a city that has vibrant University with two theatre-engaged courses in it, a major theatre, free-fully-accessible arts spaces, galleries (I understand the irony with that one) and heck, at least a 100 angry protesters to it's name (some of whom I'd assume were into theatre) it was a pretty piss-poor turn out.
I doubt Brent will bring Scratch That Itch to us again, and that's a real shame because I had a cracking night and Artists from Swansea (NOTE: SWANSEA ARTISTS) had a chance to try out some new exciting theatre work. And I'm sure the excuses will be "We didn't know about it" well, I'd say if you have a vested interest in Arts IN Newport you'd have easily found out, and I'm aware many people went to Crash Mat Collective (I wanted to but I chose the dingy & indie column on the kaleidoscope, even though I would have LOVED to see CMC, but I had an awesome time regardless) and maybe it's a clear sign that our current economic climate is such that Newport simply doesn't have enough audience to go round... But I find it hard to believe, besides which... Our event was free.
Can some one help me find Newport's arsehole? Because I need to stick a rocket up it.