CRAVE, Chichester Festival Theatre

This was a follow on production, now also a film, from last September, but this time there was to be a Q and A afterwards so I decided to give this a go. The stage set was clever, and the use of film to focus on the speaker was a good plan, as we were looking inside people's streams of consciousness.

I found myself becoming distracted by the slight differences in their costumes, wondering for example why the older man was wearing a cardigan, and did the director realise the viewer would do this? The actors were excellent, and the mechanism/structure of the piece was clever as the walking platforms continuously led them backwards.

But I know I won't be popular for writing this, but I do find CFT productions do not live up to their reputation of being progressive and first rate (I found their production of Macbeth a few years ago dated, and unoriginal). The Nuffield Theatre in Southampton, now sadly closed because of financial issues, was much more innovative and risk-taking which makes me wonder what the CFT's remit is. how do they decide their programme and do they rely too much on big names taking part?

The Q and A was led by the author Kate Mosse, and she misread my question which didn't help, but that is another story. But she is a big name...

When we have amazing theatre companies locally such as Blast Theory or Out of Chaos, isn't it time for the CFT to take risks and encourage a more modern, younger audience?

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