Academic Sarah Goldingay argues that as adults, rather than simply 'growing up' and 'knuckling down', we need to recapture the playfulness of childhood.
Academic Sarah Goldingay argues that as adults we lose something vital when we stop being playful. We are taught that as we age, we must "grow up" and "knuckle down" and that it's "time to face reality". According to Sarah, we have much to gain by rekindling the playfulness of our early years.
Sarah draws upon her own experiences as a theatre practitioner to reveal the ways actors can incorporate playing to get over creative blockages, injecting a welcome dose of surprise, novelty, and fun into their work.
Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies" are, according to Sarah, a fine example of how playful provocations can breathe life back into our creative endeavours when we're running low on ideas.
In the west, playing is all too often seen as a subversive distraction from "serious work" but Sarah explains that not all cultures understand play in the same way. In India play is intrinsic, fundamental and at the very heart of a divine universe. According to Hindus, the universe itself is a playful expression of the consciousness of God. Drawing upon the work of the philosopher Alan Watts, Sarah explains that when Hindus speak of the creation of the universe they call it the play of God not the work of God.
Sarah concludes by explaining that, for her, playing isn't something worthless and transitory but a way into leaps of unbounded imagination, experimentation, and joy.
Presenter: Sarah Goldingay
Producer: Max O'Brien
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.
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