James Graham, a British playwright and TV writer, says that the effects of theater industry layoffs will be felt throughout the entertainment sector as his play Best of Enemies makes its debut in London’s West End.
Could financing changes to the theater sector have an impact on your favorite Netflix series? Could a decrease in funding for opera truly have an impact on series like Star Wars?
James Graham, a renowned British playwright, advises that most people don’t consider it when they read about funding reductions for the arts, but they should.
The cost of the living problem and recent Arts Council England cuts in London, according to Graham, whose plays include the Tony-nominated Ink, Privacy, and Quiz—about the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal—will have a significant impact on the entertainment industry’s “pipeline.”
“Even if you don’t attend the opera, you might not realize the training that happens to artists, writers, technicians, and scenic designers – they all move on to Netflix and work on the Star Wars movies,” he said in an interview with Sky News.
The decline and diminution of the arts spanning theater, music, and television will have a significant influence within the next 18 to 2 years, in my opinion. And it’s annoying.
A leveling-up investment of £43.5 million outside of London was announced by Arts Council England earlier in November to support “art, culture, and creativity for more people in more places, throughout the country.”
Grants, especially those given to organizations like the English National Opera, have been reduced in the capital.
While detractors claim the change will negatively affect some of the UK’s most significant cultural institutions, supporters of the rebalancing claim it is long needed.
Graham, a “working class child” who grew up in Nottingham, acknowledged that it is tough to convey these points in the current economic climate, where many people are struggling to pay for their families food and heating.
But one of the key engines for the British economy, according to him, is the arts. “I disagree with the claim that supporting the arts deprives hospitals of funding because hospital beds are paid for by funding the arts, and teacher salaries are covered by a vibrant cultural sector.
“They keep mentioning growth, and we are a significant growth industry. Keeping in mind, of course, that plays, musicals, television dramas, and stories all have an emotional and social impact on our society. For a very, very cheap cost, they improve our human beings and help us develop empathy.”
In terms of financial, emotional, and social cohesiveness, the arts “ultimately yield more than they cost,” he continued. In essence, it prints money and returns it to the government.
Zachary Quinto plays Gore Vidal in Graham’s most recent play, Best Of Enemies, which explores their fierce political rivalry and pivotal historical encounters that changed political discourse and modernized current affairs broadcasting. David Harewood plays William F. Buckley Jr.
Harewood, best known for Homeland, told Sky News that “the drama centers on these discussions, [the] very first live television debates that were shown on ABC between two intellectuals, one on the left, one on the right.” “And it turned out to be the program that had the most viewers during that election season. Politics is the topic. It is about concepts. It has to do with personal hostility.
It’s hilarious in every way. Very funny, and I believe it tells a lot about where current politics are today.
“It’s troubling because the environment we live in today is largely a product of echo chambers. We primarily pay attention to what we want to hear.”