What’s in a Name
Just written the introduction to the main brochure, in which I try and explain the thinking behind “Capital” as a concept and a name. See what you think:
Capital Theatre Festival started life in November 2010 at The Old Joint Stock Theatre in Birmingham. We brought together a team of actors, writers and one director to stage a week of public readings of new plays. It was a chance for writers to develop their work in front of an audience. This year, we were very fortunate to receive funding from the Grants for the Arts scheme and the Sir Barry Jackson Trust to put together a broadened programme to celebrate the work of writers emerging from the West Midlands and beyond. We’re very grateful for the support and generosity of our partners, volunteers, and, in particular, the mac, for making this event possible. As the Festival evolves, we’re hoping to provide a connection point for writers, theatre-makers and audiences –encouraging conversation, provoking debate and, above all, showing great work.
“Capital” as a name originated from a desire to, well, capitalise, on the political mood during the 2010 Election year. We ran an evening of short plays entitled Small Plays about Big Society, in which five writers gave their responses to the genesis of the Coalition. But it’s evolved into something much more fundamental than that. I came across a quote by Harvey S. Firestone (no, I’d never heard of him either), which read “thought, not money, is the real business capital”. It struck me that, in essence, that’s precisely what writers and theatre-makers have as their stock-in-trade: the communication of thoughts, concepts and ideas through original and innovative means. In this competitive world, creativity is a valuable commodity that the politicians often disregard.
So, I hope you’ll join us this week in championing the talent that we have on offer, and celebrating the role that Birmingham can play as an incubator for exciting and contemporary new work.