Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Everyone's a critic: but some critics are better than others.

Yesterday this webshite registered its 10,000th page-view, which is modest enough probably ( considering just how long I've been doing it and the amount of shite I've put up here ) but it was a big deal to me... anyhoo I thought at this stage I might get away with writing a blog about the blog, or the part that is the source of the greatest amount of joy and grief: The 'Thayture' bit.

The 'Thayture' section of this blog has been linked in the past by a couple of Thayture Companies. They have done so, I presume not because they were blown away by any level of insight or journalistic skill, but simply to capitalise on anything positive written down about their shows that might keep the 'Buzz' going.

It's all about bums on seats and I get that, and I'm still delighted that they bothered linking me at all (*thanks lads); what I don't like, is having "whatever-nonsense-I-pulled-out-of-my-arse-to-give-people-a-sketch-of-my-impression-of-what-I-just-saw"— described as 'A Review'.

'The Review', and in particular 'The Theatre Review' is a set, almost immutable thing. It has a structure honed, I presume, by the reactions of thousands of actors and audiences and newspaper folk down the years.
The Theatre Review is politic and polite. It is a careful document. It is a precise document. It is a gentleman, and like all true gentlemen never gives offence without specifically intending to.

'The Things and Also Stuff Thayture blog' is a mannerless oaf in comparison, drunkenly reeling around the room reeking of halitosis and stepping on everyone's toes with it's big size nines:— If we think of Cary Grant as The Theatre Review, then the Thayture blog is the guy that Danny De Vito and Del-Boy consider a bit of a social embarrassement.

This is partially on purpose, and partially inevitable, as an Ack-Tore I have of course been greatful for the carefully worded review that doesn't hurt anyone's feelings, but as reader I'm a bit bored by them and as blogger I'm not sure I know how to write one or would want to.

I worry a lot about the medium of Theatre.

I think sometimes that its time might be over.

Then I think of Banksy.

I think one of the reasons Banksy made such an impact with his street-pictures was he made Art that people felt they could talk about. Most people don't want express an opinion abut Art nowadays for fear of looking like they don't know what they're talking about, but the picture on the wall on the street outside belongs to everyone: the way ads do, or fillums do, or music does, or theatre should.

So, in short, I feel entitled to crap on about my own reactions to shows, half-baked and as subjective as they are, because that's the way people talk about stuff, and it's better to talk about stuff than to stay silent for fear of looking silly.

I still think that the tactful, measured, properly-written Theatre Review, is a great thing; ( do check out Rachel Finuchane if you want to see Limerick Thayture shows covered properly like this,) but it's not what I do.

You might say that what's really going on is I have neither the skill nor the manners nor the inclination to do things properly.

And you'd be right.

I still don't care....nyaaaah!

I write this half-baked nonsense down with my own name and out it goes into the world with an unfiltered* comment box at the end and anyone who wishes to point out that I'm a fool and don't know what I'm blathering about has not only the right but the instant capability to do so; anonymously too.
*particularly long replies, or replies on older posts do go into a filter.

I go to shows and I write about 'em pretty much as I'd talk about them in the pub afterwards, if perchance you feel I'm talking out my hole ( which, let's face it, I probably am ) then please oh please feel free to join the conversation.


  1. My favourite "review" is a story you told me:


    Critic: "Is there a doctor in the house?"

    Dr. in the house [nervously]: "...yes."

    Critic: "Doctor, isn't this play awful?"


  2. Well done Darren. A significant milepost has been passed. From now on, the traffic should grow and grow.

    What? The post? Ah, you're talking through your hole.