La Boite: Thinking outside the box

Along, I assume, with hundreds of others, I have received an email from David Berthold, the new artistic director of Brisbane's La Boite theatre. Amid other news, and promises of good things to come, it mentions that, as a result of the loss of the company's Australia Council triennial funding, one production scheduled for next year, Debra Oswald’s The Peach Season, won't go ahead. It is to be replaced by a smaller "but not slighter" play to be announced on January 29. I feel for Berthold, who has only been in the chair for a month, but I can't help thinking that the La Boite board has badly mishandled the replacement process for his predecessor, Sean Mee. The company has been well and truly beaten to the pre-Christmas discretionary arts dollar by other companies which announced their 2009 seasons at the usual time. Now, with the deepening recession (which, admittedly, the board could not have foreseen), Berthold really is going to have to pull a few rabbits out of his artistic hat - and hope that a lot of people respond to his email's call for donations. If you've got something left to give, click here.