Prellbock oder Korrektiv?

30. August 2015. Der langjährige Theaterkritiker der britischen Tageszeitung The Guardian Michael Billington bringt dieser Tage ein Buch heraus, in dem er "The 101 Greatest Plays from Antiquity to the Present" benennt. In einem Artikel für The Guardian erklärt Billington sein Vorhaben und bekennt sich u.a. zum Glauben an eine "distinctive authorial voice": "I've lately taken part in a number of panels that argued the future lies with group creation rather than the solo author. I admit theatre is rapidly changing, but passionate advocates of the devised play assume that democratising the work process automatically leads to work of radical intent. I cherish an obstinate belief in the subversive voice of the individual dramatist."

Außerdem schreibt Billington: "Already I can see a storm brewing in that only one of the living I've chosen – Caryl Churchill – is a woman. I can only say in my defence that I felt it would be patronising to start allowing questions of gender and ethnicity to dictate my choice, (...) and that I've tried to offset any built-in male bias by including a series of dialogues in which my opinions are challenged by a female critic. To avoid any Dark Lady of the Sonnets-style speculation, I should add that she is invented though not, I hope, unreal."

Auf diese Erfindung einer "imaginären Kritikerin", die Einwände gegen die von seiner "eingebauten männlichen Befangenheit" diktierten Präferenzen vorwegnehmen soll, reagiert Billingtons Theaterkritiker-Kollege Andrew Haydon auf seinem Blog Postcards from the Gods mit einem Brief der imaginären Kritikerin an Billington, in dem er en detail auf Billingtons Selbsterklärung eingeht; zum Schluss heißt es: "No one really minds that your favourite scripts are mostly by people who share your class, ethnicity, and gender. I imagine some of us might even concede it’s probably inevitable. I guess a few more of us look askance at the fact that, having listed your favourite scripts, you've chosen to categorise the work of your class, your gender, and your ethnicity as 'Greatest'. But, Christ on a bike, Michael, don't make me up, and then expect me to be quiet. Having favourite things is fine. Inventing me as proof that you're somehow objectively in the right is a ludicrous and unfathomable insult to my gender."


Mehr zum Thema: Sexismus und Theater – Bestandsaufnahme einer vernachlässigten Diskussion von Leopold Lippert

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