Hi all,

I would really be interested to know if there's any feedback or review of the welovethenhs respond night.
I was unable to attend the evening and would be like to know what the general consensus was from both the practitioners and audience.
I have to admit to being concerned that the theme as presented sounded as if it had already been decided that the NHS was wonderful,a sacred cow and there was a real danger that no real debate would take place as to what the faults were and what could be done to improve the NHS apart from more funding. I would love to learn that the evening proved otherwise and all voices were heard.
And that there was also a lack of American bashing....
For anyone interested, Ian Birrell a journalist for The Independent wrote an article that started a real debate within the paper and was an invigorating read. Patients, doctors, nurses, managers etc etc contributed and although I've linked to the original article here, more debates followed as a result of the article.


Looking forward to seeing how it went.

Best Wishes,


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It's been three days, which counts as an age here: time to gingerly extend head above parapet.

I think the reason I'm having trouble responding to Respond is that, even given it was a first attempt, I felt disappointed by most of it.

There was a heartfelt monologue from Lynn, a typically passionate and dense poem from Patrick, but the rest just left me, I suppose, perplexed. I part want to say that the other sections of the evening were just 'not for me', but that feels like a cop out.

I think if you are going to give negative feedback, then it needs to be detailed and specific to be helpful. That means I have to spend hours thinking and writing about work which disappointed me, in order to give feedback which I imagine will disappoint the people who receive it. That's not my idea of a fun time.

But I will, in the end, slog through it and come up with my detailed and specific response to Respond. And a big part of the reason for that will be that I talked to John last week, and he asked me what I thought of it. When I told him I'd been disappointed, he was genuinely concerned that I send in my feedback to the team - because, he said, how will they make the next one better, if they don't know where the last one went wrong.
Hi Gary, yes, you must send in your feedback so that we can continue to develop Respond to be the best programme that National Theatre Wales can make it. The audience are central to the process of these workshops weeks themselves; to give feedback about your own experience of the final showing. You can't say anything that would disappoint anyone who would read it - those of us that will read it understand the process that we are trying to discover, of learning and making mistakes along the way. We know ourselves what we think the faults/great bits/areas to discover are - we need to know what your thoughts on these things are too.

I think that feedback is fantastic if it takes into account the spirit that the work was offered in. This also means that artists must receive feedback in the spirit that it is intended and given. There are many companies and artists not taking feedback in the spirit it is offered and see it only as 'criticism' instead. So they get defensive and draw into themselves and actually don't take anything on board, alienating the people giving feedback and stunting work's growth. It doesn't mean that criticism or feedback should always be acted upon - it could be wrong for the work - but a spirit of artists and audiences collaborating to make work better can be a really invigorating experience and can open up a process which can be really good.


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