Note added 10 July 2021: I started this blog shortly before starting to work with theatre-maker Chris Goode as a critic in residence or critical writer within his newly formed company. Following the discovery that, through the seven years I was working with him, Chris was consuming images of child abuse, I've tried to go through each post and, where his appearance wasn't essential, have deleted references to him and replaced them with an X. Posts that focus on his work, whether directing a Chris Goode & Company show or the ensemble Ponyboy Curtis, have been retained, but with a new introduction linking to two blog posts that emerged from my own self-evaluation process rethinking the work I did with him. That process began in 2018 and in this post from December that year, I acknowledge that I was complicit in some of the harms he caused, for instance by erasing the work of other women who worked with him, fuelling a cult of genius around him, and consistently asking people who criticised his work (particularly the sexually explicit work) to see it in softer ways. A second post is now in process in which I look in more detail at the ways in which Chris coerced and abused particularly young men who worked with him, using radical queer politics to conceal these harms and police reactions. I suggest that the two extended essays that can be reached via these links -
on participatory project 9, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse/Transform festival, 2012
on GOD/HEAD, at Ovalhouse, 2012
- be read with that information in mind.
I'm not removing texts that fail to recognise Chris's abuses of power because to do so would be to attempt an impossible erasure. It feels important that I'm honest about how I responded to Chris's work; but it also feels important to keep saying: this happened, it constituted abuse of power, abuses of power happen in rehearsal rooms across the country, let's dismantle that power.