Russian arts minister: Let audiences decide on subsidy

Irina Tarasova, Russian arts minister, has announced a five-point tick-box that will be distributed to audiences at state-sponsored theatres from next year. She said that those theatres which get low audience ratings will be penalised with loss of subsidy.

She added: ‘If the state spends 30 million rubles on a production, it has the right to take into account audience reaction when most of the reviews are negative.’

Reaction from cultural leaders has been predictably hostile. One artistic director said: ‘In theatre there is no ‘like’ and ‘don’t like’. We are dealing with more sensitive distinctions. The state should fund innovation.’

 

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  • This would only makes sense if the reactions were averaged out over something like a five year period. This would allow theaters to find a balance between popular stagings and those that might be challenging or provocative. And in some ways, the survey is not needed, since ticket sales already tell the overall story.

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