Running a business requires a multifarious approach at the best of times. In The studio, we are constantly thinking ahead to new projects whilst remaining fully focused on the demands of current ones. However, it is also important to find the time and space to reflect upon the past year to evaluate the process of our journey and accomplishments.

The process of contemplation often presents questions and one key point that constantly emerges is how do we ensure that we have a healthy balance between business and creativity in the studio. It’s true that in order to be productive there needs to be a sense of energy in the work place and often this is born from experiences and stimuli that happen outside of the 9-5 working day.

Often, these seemingly random musings become tangible with the celebration of the passing of time. In our case this sense of substance came in the guise of the renewal of our membership to the Oxford Playhouse Business Club. What on the surface looks like a subscription to a series of networking events actually evolved into something so much more thought provoking and culturally enriching. We took time to reflect upon how these gatherings have punctuated our year and also how they have fed into our creative energy.

In September we were delighted and captivated by Moira Buffini’s fast funny and feisty ‘Hand Bagged’ which took the audience through 21 years of political satire. We had barely recovered when along came Sandy Toksvig’s ‘Silver Lining’ which was both hilarious and poignant in equal measures, tackling the often avoided issue of aging and the role of women in theatre. In July Abigail Graham’s production of ‘Death of a Salesman’ offered a bleak and enduring message about disillusionment and the dangers of living in the past. Nicholas Woodeson’s powerful portrayal of Willy Loman still llingers in our minds like the ghost of Christmas past. More recently, Max Stafford – Clark’s interpretation of Andrea Dunbar’s ‘Rita Bob and Sue’ demonstrated that plays from the past can be reinvented and reinterpreted with moral, political and social hindsight.

All our ideas, thoughts and appreciation of these productions were shared, demonstrating that art has influence outside of its own time and physical space. Another fascinating aspect of live theatre is that even if you know a play you can never know what to expect in a performance. Therefore it has a dynamic energy that is only intensified by a life audience. So we would like to say thank you to the Oxford Playhouse for injecting shards of inspiration and vitality to The Studio and helping us keep that balance.

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