With nary an emoji in sight, Megan Vaughan answers Ten Questions for Ten Years with characteristic frankness
One thing Megan Vaughan and I have in common is that we both have quotes from Andrew Haydon on our websites – safe to say though, that hers is substantially more positive than mine! But he did have a point for once, Vaughan was (at least partly) instrumental in changing the conversation about online reviewing and not only that, she’s writing a bloody book about it. One to look out for I reckon…
Where were you 10 years ago?
Manchester, working at the Opera House there, getting ready to volunteer with Manchester International Festival. I would leave the city a few months later, and go to do my Arts Management degree in Leicester.
Best show you’ve seen in the last 10 years?
The hardest question of all time. But also the easiest. Christopher Brett Bailey’s This Is How We Die. Absolutely no contest.
What has been your professional highlight of the last 10 years?
My ‘professional life’ has always been a bit compartmentalised, so it feels like I have several answers to this. As a theatre blogger though, there has been something really rewarding about having the freedom to change the way I wrote as I developed as an audience member. I feel so sorry for those people who have to work to a formula. I guess the thing I’m most proud of is a review I created using the interactive storytelling software Twine, for Jamal Harewood’s show The Privileged.
Top flavour of interval ice-cream?
Interval ice cream is for Tories.
What show do you wish theatres would give a rest for a few years?
Like, all Shakespeare. It should be defunded.
Name someone who you think is a really underappreciated talent (in the world of theatre)?
There are many many answers I could give for this. Often, I think the underappreciated people are the producers and administrators, but on a creative level I’m gonna say Jessica Hung Han Yun, the amazing lighting designer on ETT’s Equus. There are some incredible young women emerging in technical theatre roles at the moment, and it’s so heartening. I hope Jessica isn’t underappreciated for long.
Elphaba or Glinda?
What is one thing that you think would help theatre survive and/or thrive the next ten years?
As previously mentioned, defund Shakespeare. Put audience members on boards of trustees. Ban anyone who went to public school from participating in any way. Empower the Arts Council to sack artistic directors accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment. Trial a system of universal basic income with freelance artists first of all. Introduce a Strategic Fund for criticism, and let me help decide how it should be distributed. Assassinate Steven Berkoff.
Which is your favourite theatre?
Tbh, most theatre buildings are awful. Half of them want to be golf club restaurants. But the Royal Court matters to me in a way that few of the others do, even if I kinda hate myself for caring about them so much.
Can you say anything about what’s to come for you, (in the next ten years or otherwise)?
I fucking wish! Honestly, no idea. Got a book coming out, a PhD thesis to write… Need to somehow find a way to support myself after all that, hopefully without having to go and work for any of the knobheads. Time will tell how I do.