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Quality sacrificed for quantity

Posted on 29th November 2009. 51 Comments

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our townJonny Muir samples the Freshers’ Play offering of 2009, Our Town

The ethos of the annual Fresher’s Play is egalitarian – as many people as possible should be given the opportunity to get involved. I find this a fundamentally flawed notion. It forces directors to opt for plays with large casts, in the hope it will accommodate the large scale of involvement. This often comes at the expense of choosing smaller, better plays, ones which may not offer such a wealth of opportunities to participate, but are perhaps more worth putting on. (Oscar Blustin, the director of the ’07 Fresher’s Play, cunningly evaded this issue by putting on a production of Schafer’s Amadeus, a play with effectively only two characters, but a vast supporting cast of bit parts. The two main performances were excellent, and everyone, as it were, got to have a go.)

I feel that this dilemma is exemplified by this year’s Fresher’s Play. Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, definitely has a large cast, and so lots of people were given the opportunity to get involved in the production. Unfortunately, Our Town is not a good play. Not a good play at all. It chronicles the lives of the inhabitants of Grover’s Corners, a fictionalised American town, at the beginning of the twentieth century. The story comes to focus on Emily Webb (Emily Saddler) and George Gibbs (Josh Williams), and charts their romance, their marriage, and the death of Emily in childbirth. The play purports to explore the meaning and significance of human existence through the everyday lives of its characters, but its thematic pretensions are sabotaged by Wilder’s clumsy writing, slight characterisation, contrived poeticism, and hackneyed philosophizing. The play features a group of Stage Managers, who consciously frame the drama as a play, but such metatheatrical posturing, post-Beckett, seems horribly antiquated and quaint. How it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama I will never know.

ourtown2Call me a theatrical fascist, but I think the problem with the ethos of the Fresher’s Play is that it inevitably attracts people whose willingness to participate far exceeds their theatrical abilities. This was particularly evident in the performances in Our Town, and the whole production had the distinctly amateurish feel of a ‘first night.’ The blocking was clumsy, characterisation was maddeningly inconsistent, and frequent missed cues made the pacing erratic. The performances felt unfinished and awkward, but most all (and there is no easy way to say this), they felt vapid. They lacked life or energy, and there were countless times where the cast were just reciting their lines without connecting emotionally in any real way to their characters.

 There was a gloriously chaotic opening, where the whole cast swamped the stage and enacted their daily routines, which, though a little ungainly in its staging, was full of life and character. But after that, the life seemed to be sucked out of it, the joy and the energy seemed to seep out of some unseen wound in the production’s side (God, that last strained analogy sounds it could have been written by Thornton Wilder himself). I do not like to single out individual performers unless I have something constructive to add, so suffice it to say that the acting was almost uniformly wooden.

our town1Technically, the production was messy. The inelegant and often confusing lighting changes failed to make clear which part of the stage we were supposed to be concentrating on, and I often found myself drawn to an area of the stage long after it had become the focus of a scene. The sound effects used were at times incongruous or irrelevant, but the music by Ross Blake was richly evocative and effectively used, nicely punctuating key scene changes. The Assembly Rooms’ stage does not lend itself well to productions involving large casts, and it did not help that the production was clumsily staged. The set often seemed to be militating against the efforts of the actors to navigate it, and you could see some members of the cast struggle valiantly against its geography.

 This chaos seems to me to be due to poor direction. It was certainly lacking in focus and directorial rigour. The production often felt like it was running on autopilot, and I think director Andra Catincescu needed to be so much more demanding and precise with her cast and her technical crew.

I am perhaps being too unkind. Things did pick up a bit in the third act, which focuses on Emily Webb’s experience of the afterlife. It was the most sustained part of the production, a lot more controlled and evocative, the most tonally interesting, and the dominance of red in the colour palette at this point was a neat directorial flourish from Catincescu. There were some occasional sparks of greatness in the performances. Sophie Hodkinson, as Mrs. Soames, had some lovely asides to the audience during the wedding scene between Emily and George, and was the only member of the cast who I felt invested some genuine human warmth in her performance. David Jenkins, similarly, brought great confidence and comic timing to his role as Mr. Webb, but suffered unfortunately from the same awkwardness that afflicted the whole cast. Emily Saddler has the potential to be a great leading lady, but she unfortunately struggled to flesh out a hollow, one-note character. Similarly, Charlotte Deans and Emma Purcell, as Mrs. Webb and Mrs. Gibbs respectively, showed great promise, but their performances wandered too frequently into melodrama. Despite how I feel about their work in this production, I am looking forward to seeing these actors in future productions, perhaps with a more exacting director.

Jonny Muir

51 Comments »

  • Anon said:

    Oh look, the first honest review I’ve seen in a student publication in Durham. Well done.

  • Jonny Muir said:

    NB. An aside that had to be excised from the final review, but will feature in a future piece on Durham theatregoing etiquette:

    There is nothing I hate more than audiences who talk during a performance. The audience in which I saw Our Town were a particularly chatty bunch, and for the whole of the first act (and most of the second) I struggled to suppress homicidal rage while people all around me kept fucking talking. I mean, Jesus, what are you doing in a theatre if you aren’t going to shut up and listen? Do you go to football matches and kick a ball about in the stands? Do you bring a guitar along to a gig and sing your own songs in the audience while the band plays? No you don’t, you brainless reprobate. I think if an audience member ever talks during a show, the performers should be allowed to halt the production, descend en masse into the audience and savagely beat the offending party with whatever props they can find. The cast flood out of the wings, and the first blows are made. Suddenly, a cacophony of ferocious primal violence, as bones break, limbs are torn from bodies, and screams for mercy go ignored. Blood splatters across the walls, the chairs, the faces of the cast, who no longer communicate in words, only the feral screams and terrifying roars of brutality made manifest, a language long forgotten by civilization, but alive in us all. The director holds the heads of the victims up to the sky, a sacrificial offering to arcane heathen gods. They are pleased. The cast return to the stage, their bloodlust satiated, the air warm and thick with the smells of primordial carnage, the sounds of tortured shrieks and elemental savagery linger hauntingly in the air. They resume the play.

    Ironically, while all this is going on, no-one in the audience says a thing.

  • James said:

    Two people were texting behind me all the way through and discussing their texts, i think they were texting each other but either way it was really irritating.

  • Dom said:

    I think you would like Artaud.

  • Anon said:

    For me, the thing that grated the most was the lack of even a basic effort from the cast to put on an American accent in a play that was set in New Hampshire. This was clearly something that the director had chosen not to enforce. I agree pretty much wholeheartedly with most of this review, though I would say that the actors did a reasonably good job considering the poor directorial decisions that they had to battle through.

  • Anon said:

    Hey, you stole my name.

    I thought the acting was absolutely awful as well, but I guess that could also be the director at fault. I agree with the last part, I would like to see these actors in other plays in Durham just to see what they could do (perhaps not Iolanthe or Murder in the Cathedral though. Something good.)

  • Anon said:

    But your avatar has glasses so we know who is who ;-)

    I agree about seeing the actors elsewhere. Hopefully reviews like this won’t put them off auditioning for more plays in the future, though I daresay it will for some of them. DST should really choose the play, and then appoint a production team to realise that play, not choose the director based on the play that they have proposed. This would allow them to choose the best director available and avoid bad plays from being put on.

  • Eamonn Dwyer said:

    Hi Mr. Muir

    That’s a pretty nasty review you’ve put up. Perhaps if you have practised what you preached, and focussed on quality not quanity, your review might have been incisive. It certainly contradicts itself aplenty.

    “The performances felt unfinished and awkward, but most all (and there is no easy way to say this), they felt vapid… I do not like to single out individual performers unless I have something constructive to add, so suffice it to say that the acting was almost uniformly wooden. ”

    Then later…

    “…There were some occasional sparks of greatness in the performances. ”

    Or…

    “It was certainly lacking in focus and directorial rigour.”

    Yet the third act was “controlled and evocative, the most tonally interesting, and the dominance of red in the colour palette at this point was a neat directorial flourish from (director) Catincescu.”

    You’re like a man having a heart attack in a whorehouse. I don’t know whether you’re coming or going.

  • Tom said:

    I think the review was accurate and fair. Eamonn, the comments you pick out aren’t really contradiction: each act (and there seemed to be many) was critiqued separately so the comments and criticisms are likely to vary. With regards to the final paragraph, it is actually a series of constructive encouragements which is exactly what a student review should ideally do.

  • Jane Doe said:

    Agreed, Tom

  • Andra Catincescu said:

    Dear Sir,

    I am not after a polemic and further more, I strongly believe that de gustibus et de autobus non est disputandum.

    From the first paragraphs of your article it becomes clear that you are knowledgeable on the topic, on the Freshers’ Play tradition, and on the rigours of a good production.

    However, a statement has slipped in right at the start which is, I am afraid, both misinformed and misleading to your readership. I am refering to “such metatheatrical posturing, post-Beckett, seems horribly antiquated and quaint.” This phrase can mean either that such a script should not have been written post Beckett, or that it simply should not be performed post Beckett.
    In the former case, the sense of your statement shows a lack of research for your review which is slightly unsettling (just because I would never expect anything more than a Google search).

    Even more unsettling is the latter case, which would seem to suggest that any performance of metatheatrical plays older than the works of Beckett, has become redundant. Which is understandably absurd. Although, it must be said, I have to smile at the idea that “Beckett is the end of the line, this train terminates here”.

    In other words, the whole decade (which is no short time span in 20th century terms) that has gone between Wilder getting the Pulitzer in 1938 and Ionesco and Beckett writing their first drafts of their first plays, is a complete waste of time and contributed nothing to the metatheatricality of the Theatre of the Absurd. Nor, I expect, did Wilder’s contemporaries who often are thought to have worked against and for ideas similar to those of Wilder, Bertholt Brecht and Luigi Pirandello. And obviously the fact that Our Town, a clumsy script, won the Pulitzer Prize is merely an error and not an indication of it being groundbreaking at its time, or of it being among the first manifestations of a different theatrical aesthetic; although, I admit, not a theatrical aesthetic that is easily understood out of context.

    Need I also point out your statement “The play features a group of Stage Managers”, which again shows that both information and a desire for accuracy are not a priority. Neither is maintaining an elementary distinction between play and production.

    Writing for an online wordpress magazine is probably nothing like writing for a paper publication, but perhaps you might feel that those misleading statements should be retracted, as I am sure you do feel journalistic responsibility towards your readers.

    Also, in terms of the Freshers’ Play, you obviously feel that this DST event exists not as a learning curve or a showcase for first years, but as a test of excellence and professional standards. Obviously, Drama Schools and University extracurriculars exist not in order to give young inexperienced people a chance to try new things, learn, and make mistakes, but as extensions for West End and London Fringe stages. A script needs to be chosen that consists of one or two real characters (because one cannot expect to find more than two freshers with both experience and “talent”), and everyone else should be on the “Also Featured” list. That is why DST has given me a budget to stage a production, not to attract and involve beginners, but to keep them under foot and flaunt a couple of young experts (please be aware that I am not suggesting this is in any way what Mr. Blustin did, but I am observing that this is apparently your opinion regarding what Freshers’ Plays should be doing in general).

    Therefore, people with (plenty of) potential but “not quite there” in terms of acting experience and control over themselves should not be given parts with more than a couple of lines, because far from teaching them anything, these parts would only make them look ridiculous. Characterisation, presence, enunciation, voice projection, appropriate employment of one’s voice and body, variation, creativity, spontaneity, depth, confidence, working with and not against a space, “emotional honesty”, listening and reacting to a scene partner, and every other part of an exacting performance, all these are innate qualities, that unfortunately the majority of fresher actors do not posses, and cannot hope to acquire. And if people have not arrived as the full package, they shouldn’t be given a chance to walk and talk on stage, because that makes the production team look bad.

    These seem to be the premises you have started your review with. I am not contradicting your personal opinion on a theatrical aesthetic movement, a script, a production, on the performances, or on my competence. I would, however, like to remind you that the review of the Fresher Play you yourself took part in, deemed your performance a “wooden” one, and I am glad that your director at the time did not make the decision not to cast you because you weren’t completely up to standard at the time, but opted instead to give you a chance to develop and learn by doing what you love, acting. I am sure you have since become accomplished. This must be said, I feel, in fairness to my cast.
    Unless of course, the “wooden” performance was in no way a measure of your ability at the time, but simply your director’s fault.

    The fact that I have found out what said review had to say on your own Freshers’ Play experience, indicates not that I have secretly followed your Durham acting career all along, but that an internet search engine works wonders in a matter of seconds in terms of providing one with the basic facts one ought to know before approaching a piece of writing. Using the same means, I have had the pleasure to glance over your other review, the one of Doubt, where I noticed you were arguing a “typical Jewish face” (ie big glasses, and dare I speculate here: perhaps a big nose) does not quite work cast as a catholic priest. Although I cannot confirm or deny your opinion as I have not seen that production, I have to admire the originality and boldness of your observations, in general.

    Thank you for attending and taking the time to write such a detailed and educated article, and please accept my apologies if I have wasted your time in any way.

    Best regards,

    A. Catincescu

  • Dom said:

    I think I might be in love with Andra Catinescu.

  • Anon 3 said:

    Anyone with a bad cough should not go to the theatre – it’s selfish in every respect. And anyone talking should be asked to leave.

  • Heather Kerr said:

    You go Andra!

    Jonny, I would like to say that an immense amount of effort was put into producting, directing and rehearsing this play. You clearly have issues with the play itself, and it is not fair to have critisised those who both worked on and starred in it so harshly because of the predisposed dislike of it. Having been in the freshers’ play yourself surely you realise the immense pressure on those that may never have performed before or those that are ‘giving it a go’ and should have therefore allowed them a little room for error. It was never meant to be a fully professional production and should not have been treated as such. Please consider the feelings of those that have worked many hours on producing, rehearsing and directing the next show you review – just remember you could have put off young budding actors of what is essentially a fun and exciting hobby for fear of receiving such a harsh critisicm again.

  • Tom said:

    The play was bad. The production was worse. The critique was very good. The critique of the critique is a bit mental.

  • Dave Spencer said:

    Well said Andra.

    I would like to reiterate what Andra has pointed out. As an actor in the production, with a smaller role, I could quite easily see the flaws in the play itself. Some of the characters are strongly two-dimensonal, some of the scene ordering clumsy, but the play clearly won a Pulitzer for a reason and it is foolish, to say the least, that you base your opinion of a play’s worthiness to win a Pulitzer on its performance by freshers, inexperienced in the world of professional acting. It is an amateur production and to expect a polished, immaculate performance is short-sighted.
    One of the anonymous posters above suggested that we would, as a cast, inevitably be disheartened. I can confidently say that this is not the case, purely because we recognise the fact that we are not superb and faultless actors, but are instead, unfinished and unready for a larger stage.
    You do indeed seem to have completely missed the point of a freshers’ play – to provide an opportunity for young actors like us to test our limits, decide whether we have the drive and the potential talent to take our hobby to a higher standard. We are freshers and therefore, by definition, we are new to this great world and the larger forum of university theatre. To say that we were “uniformly wooden” is neither constructive nor respectful. The ‘wooden’ aspect you experienced may be as a result of certain faults in the play itself. I personally think you need to decide on whether the script is to blame, or whether we as a cast of young actors should give up entirely merely because we are, at the moment, learning and persevering with the craft of acting.

  • Anon said:

    Not really any need to be such a bitch, is there. Liked the way you didn’t mention anything about your direction. Lots of love, anon xx

  • Jane Doe said:

    I think that this year reviewers have been scared of criticising poorly executed plays for fear of this exact reaction. Of course those involved with the play will find fault with this review, and it’s not a flawless one, but just because for example his performance was wooden in a play doesn’t mean he can’t, as a reviewer, express the opinion that others acting is wooden.

    of course a lot of effort went into it, but surely the reviewers job isn’t to commend effort but to commend the execution and, having sat through the play, it was really poorly executed. nobody expects the freshers play to be a masterpiece, it hasn’t been for the two years I’ve been in Durham, but I have to say I expected a bit more than what I saw last week.

    Like Anon said, this is the first actually honest review in Durham and I think it’s great

  • Jane Doe said:

    ps (still not done) Dave,

    and learning the craft of an actor means learning to take criticism. like this. gracefully. the acting was terrible but jonny mentions this is to do with the direction perhaps and that he would like to see you all in other productions. it’s a compliment. jeez.

  • Andra Catincescu said:

    I would like to reiterate that I have not for one second criticised Mr. Muir’s review or his opinion of the production.

    I have simply pointed out two inaccurate and misleading statements.

    My other argument was directed at Mr. Muir’s idea of what constitutes a successful fresher production, and at his belief that the Fresher Play ethos is flawed. I am sorry, but with that I have to disagree. Please note that I am disagreeing with ideas, not with Mr. Jonny Muir whom I have never even met.

    With regards to Mr. Anon’s observation: it is not my place to mention anything about my direction. Mr. Muir is entitled to his own opinion regarding my abilities, as are you yourself. I don’t intend to contradict you.
    I did mention my cast in passing, because I too am entitled to my own opinion regarding their performances, but please note that I have mainly discussed an idea at a general level.

  • Anon said:

    You also randomly mentioned his own performances (not really relevant), and sort of claimed he was a bit anti-semitic. Below the belt? Lots of love xx

  • Andra Catincescu said:

    In support of an argument, I mentioned Mr. Muir had received the exact same criticism he has given, to show that a freshers’ play performance is a learning experience, not necessarily as he suggested, a measure of one’s theatrical abilities period. I did not say he has no right to criticize if he hasn’t always been a professional-standard actor. On the contrary, I am arguing that freshers generally aren’t, and this is how they develop and become good actors in their later years at University. Is it malicious to remind someone that they have been in a similar position years ago and that that experience has since turned out to be useful? I hope not.
    I did not claim he is in any way anti-semitic. All I said was the point he had made surprised me. And was a bold point to make. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  • Anon(ymous) said:

    Woah, slow down here. It’s not the responsibility of an independent student website to nurture or develop budding actors. At the end of the day, the Freshers Play (like any other production in Durham) is a commercial event and people pay to attend. If a reviewer deems it a failure or criticises it, then that’s his perogative.

    The suggestion that we should congratulate every single production, despite its flaws, simply because a lot of effort went into it (as Heather Kerr seems to be suggesting) is crazy. A lot of effort goes into every show, right from kindergarten nativities through to National Theatre productions. This level of effort is not being measured or considered in a review. What is being considered is whether the end result of that effort is a success.

    It’s up to directors, producers, and ultimately DST to help nurture/provide opportunities for new actors in Durham – not independent websites like d21.

  • Andra Catincescu said:

    I could not agree with you more. That’s not the purpose of a review, and by no means what I expect from one.

    Once again, I have not criticised D21 or Mr. Muir for criticising the production. I have contradicted his idea that the ethos of the Freshers’ Play is flawed, and that the best idea is to choose scripts with few main characters, because then those parts can go to the “truly talented”.

    If I argued against an idea Mr. Muir has taken as his premise, it doesn’t follow I expected him to congratulate a production he obviously did not like.

    For the last time, while I can discuss ideas Mr. Muir launches regarding the event and its purpose, it is not my place to discuss or disagree with his opinion of the production, and I am not trying to change his opinion. Please don’t associate these two separate things and then hold me responsible for the association.

  • anun said:

    I want everyone to take a deep breath and never return to this thread. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t.

  • Tom said:

    Andra, if you’re content with the performance and happy to let Jonny express his point of view, then ignore the inconsistencies in his factual knowledge. It is uncommon for directors to engage quite so intensely in independent discussion about their show, even in student productions. People involved in the company can occasionally have a certain bias when it comes to these discussions.

  • Ben Dover said:

    I would like to disagree, both in principle and in practice with what Mr. Anun is saying here, whilst to many not involved with the production or to those who do not appreciate the importance of an honest review, this may not seem important- but to these aforementioned groups the above demonstrates it does. I would therefore ask Mr. Anun to, instead of exacerbating the situation, instead to perhaps consult a classicist on the latin attempted in the comment by Ms. Catincescu above. Whilst I appreciate that it could be a deliberate misquotation of Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” a book that Ms. Catincescu is no doubt studying as a first year English student, I amongst others, would like to know what it translates to.

    Kind Regards,

    Ben Dover

  • ass said:

    who loves milk???!!!

  • serious ass this time said:

    guys it’s just a play – get over it.

    milk?

  • Jane Doe said:

    Yes it’s just a play but it’s important to certain people involved in the production and involved in Durham theatre. If this was a heated discussion about milk or ass I wouldn’t get involved but I wouldn’t ridicule it!!

  • Donnchadh said:

    Ah, a proper D21 barney. We haven’t had one of those for a while.
    A couple of points: Andra, while I appreciate that you’re not overtly disagreeing Jonny’s opinions, the points you’ve pulled him up on are pretty small, and it’s silly to ask to have them changed.

    I’m not sure I agree with Jonny’s basic premise, though. The recent Fresher’s plays have been pretty mixed, but Our Country’s Good (first thing I saw in Durham) was a very solid piece of theatre, and that had a big cast with a lot of substantial parts.

    Lastly, Jonny, first ClassicallyJewishFaceGate, now you describe yourself as a ‘theatrical fascist’… is it true you’re DDF play is going to be called My Struggle? (he asked with a smile).

  • Uncle Party said:

    31 comments! 31! What an article!!!

    Sadly, there are fewer responses to my party invitation so far (0) but I have my fingers crossed*! In case you missed it, I am having a party (jelly/no music) and you are all invited (to it).

    What a lot of opinions though, eh?! I wrote an opinion but it seems to have gotten lost. Has anyone seen it? I once read** that everyone’s opinion is valid (animals?!) so it seems a shame to lose my one. I do hope we are not becoming victims of ‘sensership’ (nothing to do with submarines/sonar, apparently).

    I do like the number 31 though, and have been kind enough to provide a list of reasons:

    - There are 31 days in most months

    Any help with the list would be greatly appreciated, as I feel it is ‘not quite there yet’.

    Regards
    Uncle Party

    *Getting sore now…

    **More likely it was an audiobook. They do some good ones nowadays, like Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, or Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, or any of the other Harry Potter novels (being read to you by Stephen Fry).

  • Uncle Party said:

    Ohhhh, it’s 32 now!! Haha!

    Regards
    Uncle Party

  • A. Nonymous said:

    Apologies for the previous misspelling of my name…!

  • A Noun said:

    Christ alive that’s a bit harsh

  • Dom said:

    Hi Durham21,

    Can you please monitor these forums more efficiently? ‘Let’s Face It’s’ comments amount to personal abuse and should be taken down. Completely uncalled for. I suggest if you have their email address you ban them from commenting. The thread has provoked some quite entertaining responses but it has now veered completely out of control.

    Thankyou

    Dom

  • Anon said:

    There’s a difference between criticism and abuse… I agree with Dom, that’s far too far.

  • Anon said:

    This has now gone too far – it was fine when it was purely a discussion about the merits of the production, but to take it to the point where you are attacking someone personally is just way too far. It is not up to you to make comments about other people’s personal achievements, especially when you know that it is hurt them considerably.
    While I was not a huge fan of the show, I fully commend Andra for taking the time to do what she clearly loves, and at the end of it, that is all that really matters.

  • Stevie Martin (Editor) said:

    I’d just like to apologise for not catching that last comment sooner… D21 is a sort of one-person-editing-all situation at the moment and sometimes I can’t always be everywhere at once. However, I completely agree that it was unnecessarily personal and abusive. It’s a shame that whoever it was left an obviously fake email address or I would be able to ban them from commenting on further posts.

    Sorry guys.

  • Miss A.non said:

    Oh dear!!

    I was actually told by a friend about this review, and having read it (and the countless comments) I can see why. A few points: This is an opinionated review, not fact. Those that argue with it are obviously going to be the ones involved, and therefore a little bias. Andra (who I assume is the director) your points are well made, but making jabs as the reviewer is not the way to do it. His opinions, although harsh are just that, opinions. Freshers’ plays are meant to be just a bit shit, thats the charm and the curse. Heather, effort does not commend a good review, however when you put everything into a production and receive a review like this it is very disheartening and could put you off trying to impress again.

    For all those actors/actresses that have read this review, I hope this shows you not to read reviews, there is always going to be something negative. Just accept the congraluations of those around you, it’s the most praise you will get. In effect, these types of reviews pick off those that are not as commited to the theatre as they thought, the best ones will keep going as Jonny said.

    At the end of the day, it’s entertainment. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try and change the mind of those that aren’t

  • What? said:

    This is a load of crap. there are plenty of positive reviews out there, and if every review was glowing that would cheapen the better quality plays such as blue room, vichy. these plays still got criticised constructively but they gota better review because they were better productions. if you are involved in theatre you have to learn to take criticism!

  • A Reviewer said:

    Miss A.Non,

    Your comments are amazing. “This is an opinionated review, not fact”. That’s a criticism? That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. What exactly do you think a review is? Please tell me you were joking. Or would you prefer a play review was just a synopsis and a list of characters. Brilliant. You are a plonker. Everything else you say is very true.

  • Dave Pearce said:

    Lets keep milking this for what its worth.

  • Chris Peacock said:

    More milk… :)

  • JD and Coke said:

    Plonker is a fantastic word

  • d said:

    I don’t see why ‘A reviewer’ and ‘what’ are laying into Miss Anon for what I thought was a well thought through and accurate comment. I just think it’s a shame that more comments of her stature do not appear instead of the reams of poisonous filth I have read on this forum.

  • Mick Bennett said:

    Phew this has finally simmered down a bit. I wasn’t aware this play was taking place which is not unusual for me as I don’t attend the university but having read this THREAD I wish I was still at Cuth’s. When I was here (2004-2007) I enjoyed many a student play and yes I made noise in the crowd and didn’t follow the etiquette of the RSC but no-one complained and afterwards the crowd and cast had a beer together. Surely the true ethos of a student production?

  • Late comer said:

    I am delighted that this forum is so wonderfully furnished with passion. I second the earlier comment of Dom’s, I too would marry the director for her rebuttal. I would also engage in a director review threesome, with myself as the third party.

    Will anyone make it four?

  • Late comer said:

    I am delighted that this forum is so wonderfully furnished with passion. I second the earlier comment of Dom’s, I too would marry the director for her rebuttal. I would also engage in a director/reviewer threesome, with myself as the third party.

    Will anyone make it four?

  • Sporvle said:

    If you truly are a late comer, I would be happy to join you for your foursome.

  • Fire Surround · said:

    we always love to be given party invitations and when we organize our own party, we also love to send party invivtations “