I have just received this. Seeing that the original letter was posted here on my blog and also emailed to many in the industry, I think it is fair that this too appears here. Again, I have many thoughts and feelings, but (unlike my reviews) I will show the utmost restraint and say nothing. Here is the whole thing.
Little did we realize when we sent you our rather angry and harsh email – that it would open such a can of worms and unleash such hate speak from people.
We know that we are all passionate about theatre and we are sorry that the email has caused such division in the community. We have received our fare share of emails and some of them have been unspeakably harsh in support of the stance we took.
As stated in our email, this was not intended to start the vendetta that it is fast becoming and we feel the situation is becoming quite unhealthy, if not disturbing and we don’t want to be a part of it.
We hereby immediately retract any suggestion of your banning from the NewSpace.
Our email was triggered not by your right to publish the blog or the right to criticise shows produced in this town, but by what we perceive to be the personal nature of some of the attacks you have made on your blog.
We all have to put up with devastatingly candid and ruthless reviews from critics [you yourself expressed how hurt you felt about your recent Jhb review]
But, we’d like to understand why [and here we will highlight only 3 examples and please they are from memory]
- Why you can’t just state your opinion on Charley Keegan’s performance as Iago and state your reasons for disliking it – why do you have to add the comparison of him to Tourrett’s sufferer.
- Why can’t you just deliver your harsh criticism on Rolanda Marais about her Juliet and what you [as a fellow actor and director] felt was wrong with her performance – why go and call her a Gawky, Jo’burg Cherrie with zero sex appeal and dressed like a dead bird.
- Why not say you disliked Fred’s direction of Maynardville and for what reasons you felt that way – why resort to accusing Fred of stooping so low as to bribe other brown nosed critics who gave R & J favourable reviews.
Constructive and harsh criticism and comments [bad diction, slow pace, not enough emotion, too much emotion, one dimensional characterisation, lacks ‘this’ or ‘that’] can be taken note of by an actor and their director and, as it is still at the beginning of the run, give them time to pool all the comments and do something about the performance over the run.
But what does one do, as director, with personal statements like yours? They serve no purpose and are destructive and hurtful to the performers and undermines their confidence on a personal level.
But as we have said – apologies for unleashing this monster, you are welcome at the NewSpace and please let’s set up a private dialogue and resolve our differences.
Sincerely Fred and Marcel