Following the closure of a local theatre and arts centre, two documentary makers set out to see what effect it has had on the local community and the country as a whole.
The UK is famed for excelling in the performing arts. From Shakespeare adaptations to local orchestras, there has always been something for everybody to watch, take part in and most of all enjoy. Yet over the last decade, venues have struggled to remain open; establishments that that those local to them may have took for granted. One such place was the Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre in Taunton – a building that showcased and nurtured most local talent. Sadly, due to a lack of funding, the Brewhouse was forced to close, an act that prompted Emma Holbrook and Susannah Mo to make a documentary regarding what effects the cut of arts funding has had in, not only, the South West of England, but the country as a whole.
The filmmakers interview a plethora of people from a variety of backgrounds – comedians, BECTU representatives, musicians, actors, college lecturers and local businessmen. The interviews are insightful, intelligent and they all make a point. The arts aren’t just around to make money; they are a way of life for many. Places like the Brewhouse in Taunton are venues for people to meet new people, to express themselves and give others enjoyment. When you take away a centre such as the Brewhouse from the community, you are basically taking away the dreams of some who want to pursue a career, nay a life, in the arts.
Making the Cut, is a very professionally made documentary that forces the worrying issue to hand and it never gets boring. As with all good documentaries, we don’t just have one talking head followed by another; interviews are intercut with shots of local communities, town centres, images. The flow to the piece is nice and keeps the viewer interested throughout. This all comes down to some slick and clever editing. The runtime clocks in at just over forty minutes, but as the pacing of the documentary is so good, the time flies by.
The audio aspect of the film is top notch and clear, as is the filming itself. It’s also worth noting that the film’s budget only came in at around the £1000 mark, which really is remarkable. It goes to show what time and talent from Holbrook and Mo can achieve. I really hope this is not a one-off for the duo, I really want to see what subject they tackle next.
Making the Cut is a documentary that just demands to be watched, not only by people involved in performing arts, but by anyone who wants to see the effect that funding cuts have on people in small towns across the country. Making the Cut should also be forced upon every council in the country too. Maybe it can become the catalyst for the change that is needed.