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Plays Rough: Five things we would change about Jersey

Plays Rough: Five things we would change about Jersey

Friday 20 October 2017

Plays Rough: Five things we would change about Jersey

Friday 20 October 2017

Plays Rough walked onto the stage in 2011 when Ben Evans and Leon Fleming decided to set up a local writing initiative to allow local playwrights to present their 'work in progress' in front of an audience. More recently, they opened the Festival of Words with 'Crapaud to Joy,' a collection of short pieces inspired by the legendary Bob Anthony.

Being a collective of playwrights, poets and musicians with lots they are passionate about, Plays Rough probably could have written a whole play or songs about what they would change about the island - but they managed to stick to five items.

1. No more empty seats in the audience

We’re very lucky with our events. What we do at Plays Rough definitely nudges the category marked “niche" (none of us will be writing a hit musical anytime soon), and we have a dedicated and hugely supportive audience-base for what we do. That’s not the case for all shows and cultural events in Jersey though. Too many empty seats.

Opera House

Pictured: Empty seats for word-class performances are "embarrassing", Plays Rough say.

Obviously there are reasons why people don’t go - cost, for example. But it’s often embarrassing to go to the theatre to see world-class visiting performers and for there to be only a handful of people in the audience. Get up and go see some stuff - there’s loads of great things on.

2. Discs, pay cards, permits... Can't we just pick one?

Just a quick dull whinge - but how many different ways to pay for parking are there? Is variety always a good thing? It just feels ... confusing.


Pictured: Sometimes too much choice is bad, especially when it comes to paying for your parking.

If you’re a tourist coming over here how could you possibly get your head around the myriad ways?

3. Should we really bet all our money on finance?

Plays Rough heard a local poet (whose name you will certainly know) read a mini-epic comparing the finance industry to the Golden Goose. That poem said it all.

JIFC International Finance Centre Building Four

Pictured: If Jersey's finance industry is a 'Golden Goose', then the island should really spread its eggs, Plays Rough say.

Sure, finance is the hand that feeds many of us - but what happens if/when it all collapses? We don’t necessarily want to bite the hand, but probably ought to be nipping at it a bit.

4. Unite and conquer 

Following on from the above, we believe there’s an increasing fracture showing in our society. The divide between those in / out the finance industry is developing along London lines.

City of London

Pictured: "The divide between those in / out the finance industry is developing along London lines."

How do we address this? How does Jersey stop itself becoming 'unliveable' for those in less privileged positions?

5. Festival of Words: one is not enough

There’s just not enough of this excellent festival.

We want more of it. We DEMAND more Festival of Words. That is all.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and not those of Bailiwick Express.

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