Below is the letter I received from them via email. It was also posted as a comment under my review of Dalliances and I copied it here. I am interested to hear what others think. I am putting the whole thing down. If I decide to reply it will also be in the public domain.
It with great dismay that when we Google theatre productions in Cape Town, yet again, your vindictive, malicious and destructive Blog pops up on the computer screen. Today your personal, bitter attack on the performers in Dalliances is no exception. We have not seen the production yet, so we are not commenting on the validity of your personal opinion but more on the absolute poisonous attack on the young performers and the destructive repercussions it could possibly have on a new work and a producing management.
We ask ourselves repeatedly, when reading your vitriol, what are you trying to achieve with these personal, uncalled for attacksâ€¦.and several issues ariseâ€¦
You are an independent theatre maker, writer and director in the Cape Town Theatre Industry â€“ Why attack it so personally?
You are a member of PANSA â€“ an initiative trying to support, promote and unite and the independents in the industry. â€“ Why go against everything PANSA is trying to do?
Roy Sargeant raises millions for the New Writing Season [his own personal initiative] to promote new young writers, directors, designers and actors and inject a new and exciting energy into the theatre scene and create employment! Your new play is part of this yearâ€™s season. Last year you co-wrote and directed Graham Weirâ€™s new musical – staged at this initiative and the year before, if memory serves correctly, you had your production of Noah staged there â€“ Where is your appreciation and loyalty?
You co-directed the two young actors in Merchant of Venice at Maynardville, which you so spitefully and personally shredded in your Blog on Dalliances â€“ Why?
Your apparent homophobia is quite disturbing in this day and age.
We and several others have also been at the receiving end of your poisonous pen.
In a time when the industry is trying so desperately to survive and do provocative, new work â€“ we cannot understand your personal ranting and cruel attacks.
Unfortunately with the internet age – your Blogs are public domain and several people when searching for a possible â€˜showâ€™ to see, could come across your Blogs and this could be so destructive.
Now of course Megan, you are fully entitled to your own personal opinions. You are fully within your right to post them and publish them wherever and whenever you see fit. You also have the right to dislike a production or performances â€“ but why not say so in acceptable â€˜theatre jargonâ€™? Why do you always resort to these personal attacks on people? With Dalliances, for instance – why not stick to saying that you found the boysâ€™ performances a bit one dimensional or whatever â€“ why go on about,â€ â€¦their most successful moments were the ones where they said nothing and had their pants downâ€¦â€
In your successive Blogs we have read, with disbelief, spiteful comments about and allusions to performersâ€™ sexuality, their hair, their weight, their friends in the industry [information you are privy to – as you are in the industry e.g. A responsible writer would not raise the issue of Anthea Thompson and Robyn Scottâ€™s friendship in a review about Antheaâ€™s performance as the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet] â€¦the list of your vitriol is endlessâ€¦and all this, when not five lines above in your latest Blog, you bemoan your fate at the hands of Adrian Sichelâ€™s unfavourable review of your latest offering in Johannesburg. Not one line in her review was a personal attack on you or your performer!
Now what to do?
We are absolutely powerless, in this modern internet age, to stop you nastily Blog-ing away.
However, there is something we as the management of the NewSpace Theatre can do!
You are well aware that all public bars, restaurants and theatres â€˜reserve the right of admissionâ€™.
We as the NewSpace hereby evoke that right and wish to inform you, Megan Choritz, that you are forthwith restricted [banned if you like] form attending any performances or events at the NewSpace, 44 Long Street Cape Town. Your photograph will be posted in our box office and all staff will be informed accordingly. You will not be sold a ticket or permitted into the theatre or any other paying venues at 44 Long Street. Should you purchase a ticket through Computicket, you will still be prohibited from entering the theatre and you ticket costs will be instantly refunded in cash.
We hope that you seriously take cognisance of this restriction and do not attempt to gain access to any productions.
Please understand this is NOT a PERSONAL attack on you and we do not wish to turn this into a vendetta or strike up a series of communications between us â€“ but is the one positive action that we, as Theatre Practitioners, can take to stop you attending performances at the NewSpace and prevent you from posting your poisonous Blogs on our productions, actors, directors, writers and designers and a way of protecting our source of income from your potentially destructive Blogs.
Personal opinions and the right to freely express oneâ€™s self – are always welcome â€“ But we will not tolerate this kind of personal, irresponsible, vindictive and destructive behaviour. Itâ€™s high time that we in the industry did something proactive to protect our artists and our livelihood.
Fred Abrahamse â€“ Artistic Director NewSpace Theatre
Marcel Meyer â€“ Associate Director NewSpace Theatre
PS. I think this is the first time an independent somebody has been banned from a theatre! I best not let that power go to Meganshead. Megan