I've just given a talk on theatre and globalisation as part of the Nordic Performing Arts Days season and specifically the CPH Stage theatre festival in Copenhagen. One of themes this year is globalisation and I was invited by Jesper Pedersen, Creative Adviser at Teater Grob to give a talk on theatre, globalisation and cosmopolitanism, which I did on Saturday 21 June 2014. The theatre are ⅓ of the way through 6 Continents, an ambitious cycle of six plays looking at Danish identity in a globalised world.
Jesper invited me because he'd read my Theatre & Globalization and some of the argument chimed with his thinking about the role of the imagination and its relation to cosmopolitanism in theatre. My talk rehearsed some of the arguments in my book but framed it with a discussion of football. Given that, the day before, England had been knocked out of the tournament at the group stage and Denmark didn't qualify, it felt like neutral territory. I began with the fallout from Ahn Jung Hwan's golden goal in the 2002 World Cup, which knocked out Italy, and led to his being sacked from his domestic football in Perugia, Italy. I suggest that in this we see two rival models of geo-political organisation - tightly-regulated regional identity and unconstrained international flows of labour - and from there I talked about the Bosman ruling, the Lisbon Lions, catenaccio, and the Gre-No-Li strike force. I ended with a discussion of the dematerialisation of the artwork, looking at Three Kingdoms, Paul Bright's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, The Author and Adler & Gibb. If I'd had time, I'd have looked at The Events, but hey, you can't have everything.
I was beautifully looked after in Copenhagen, hugely impressed with Teater Grob and the vitality of the Danish theatre culture, and after my talk they served talk-themed cocktails: cosmopolitans. That's got to be good.
I gather the talk will be podcast, at which point I'll add it here.