Good week / Bad week

Good week for headline writers at The Guardian, who seem to have been having a competition this week for Best Shakespeare Pun. For my money, third prize and honourable mention goes to Mark Fisher for “Such tweet sorrow” (quite good, but loses points for not being original). Second prize is Maddy Costa with the clever but slightly obvious “Rory Kinnear: A palpable hit”. Needless to say, the gold medal and presidential suite in the athlete’s village goes to the inimitable Michael Billington who reminds us why he’s Michael Billington with the superb “Dane and dusted”.

Bad week for London theatre bloggers.  Frankly, this “Not The West End Whingers” crap has gone far enough. I’m all for a bit of light hearted rivalry. I’m all for a lively debate. I’m all for bloggers disagreeing with each other in the strongest terms. I won’t even pretend that I wouldn’t be flattered to be a big enough deal to warrant a bona fide opposition party myself (“avec taste” is clearly a good idea waiting to happen). But this (last para, below the long synopsis and cast list), this sort of personal attack should stop. This isn’t critical debate. This is just unpleasant, and it doesn’t benefit anyone. This is just personal, when it doesn’t need to be personal. This is the sort of thing critics get up to, and if we bloggers can’t even behave better than London theatre critics then there’s something wrong with us. Disagreeing with what is written in reviews is fine (it’s better than fine – it’s great, it’s exactly what we need) but dragging personal stuff into it is not cool.

This should stop (or, if you prefer, “the rest is silence”).