I don’t know whether to be glad or sad, I tell ya. I haven’t had this much flak since I wrote my first ever review of a play here on my blog meganshead, over a year ago. I refer to the hoo haa that my review of Othello has generated.
The good news is that people are reading it, I suppose. That’s obviously the whole idea. And the by-product of that is that people are going to go to the theatre, in spite of or because of my recommendations or criticism. I wish I believed that the students were as committed in action as they were in words though. I never see students at the theatre unless it is one of their own productions. Student discounts that are offered are not taken advantage of and even special comps go unused when it comes to student attendance. Anyway, that’s a whole other can of worms.
I think it is only fair to remind my readership, both old and Othello new, that this blog is independent, unaffiliated and unsolicited. I go out there, see theatre and write about it. It is not my job, nor am I paid for it. I only get comps if I am invited, and I generally buy all my own tickets. I try and see as much as I can as often as I can. and then I am as honest as I can be in my response to it.
Of course I am biased. I work in the theatre and write about my own experiences. I am totally loyal to the productions I am involved in, and subject to the same joys and disappointments meted out by the critics. Most people have been big enough to receive even my harshest criticism with an understanding of where it comes from and I have had long chats with people about their productions and even been pulled in to help on occasions. That’s the game. That’s how it works.
Now, I have been made to feel like the Wicked Witch of the West about my review of Othello and I keep rereading it to check my “illiteracy, prostitution” and all the other horrible things I am accused of. I say amazing things about Vaneshran Arumugam and Ariella Caira. I say great things about the director, Geoffrey Hyland. I write about the production in a careful and deliberate way, complete with a sensitivity that the cast are students. I give reasons for my opinion why I think Iago was unsuccessful. Which is one small part of the whole review.
I really hope that I don’t have to try and justify myself here again. I really hope that the hoo ha will attract people to the theatre in droves. I really hope that the students will arm themselves with the viewing of many many productions, both good and bad, to become active members of a difficult, amazing, magical, cruel, crazy, unfair, life altering world of live theatre.