I was appointed a trustee of IPAT at its inception in September 1999, prior to which I first became a member of ICAF in 1987. I had just returned from Chile where I was - amongst other things - researching and writing a series of articles about the role of theatre in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship. I developed a close association with many companies and individual performers who were all struggling to keep theatre alive in the most difficult and dangerous of circumstances. I witnessed first-hand the importance of their work – how they had become a voice of resistance and hope – particularly for the disaffected living in the poorer regions. The work of these artists – many of whom faced black-listing, arrest, torture and even death - continued through seventeen long years of oppression - their resilience and courage was an inspiration. Artists all round the world play a vital and difficult role in an ever more troubled world and I believe it is essential we give them all the support we can and I am delighted to be part of a unique organisation that fulfils that role.
DAGGER † DRAWN