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Art in a time of recession


It’s perhaps fitting, tragically so, that Nottingham Arts Theatre is running The Full Monty this week. As I’m sure you’ll know, Monty was one of a spate of films that featured plucky communities doing “quirky” things to keep money on the table, in the face of the previous recession decimating their livelihoods. (See also: Brassed Off)

As we do seem to be stuck in a downturn, there is talk that this is precisely the sort of atmosphere that creative communities thrive in – that times of economic hardship bring forth a creative outpouring. Standing in Billy Bragg’s Glastonbury tent a couple of weeks ago it seemed possible that if enough people believed then we could make a difference. But here in the real world it is more likely that we can merely document what happens and hope that people take notice.

The Full Monty may be remembered as a comedy where men get their kit off but the most moving part is Tom Wilkinson as the older foreman, desperate to get a job and keep his dignity. Those facing redundancy in Derby’s Bombardier plant this week must be hoping this isn’t a case of life imitating art.

The Full Monty runs until Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12/ £10 concessions.