(Rebecca Atkinson-Lord’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/30.)
One of my favourite things about being part of the theatre community is the way we all pull together. We support each other through thick and thin, fight each other’s corners and generally help each other out whenever we can. It’s a brilliant thing, knowing that you can call for help and someone will always answer. But sometimes, and I must stress that this is the exception rather than the rule, our instinct to protect each other does more harm than good. The unity that signifies our strength is a double-edged sword that occasionally injures the very ecology we all seek to protect.
Whenever two or more theatre people gather, you hear whispers. The whispers cover a lot of ground, from financial malpractice to petty bullying and general incompetence. Of course, not all that I hear might be true, but sometimes multiple stories about the same subject converge and it becomes impossible to dismiss the possibility that at their heart lies a kernel of truth.