Bad week for Greenland. After being panned by the bloggers last week, my predictions of a positive critical response from the critics turned out to be far from the mark. Susannah Clapp in the Guardian bemoans “a waste of extraordinary actors”. Michael Coveney declares it “dead at the centre and therefore dead in the water.” Fiona Moutford in the Standard thinks it “ungripping and unwieldy” and even uses the F-Word in her review of this “howler”. Quentin Letts in the Mail thinks it “fails because it hectors and lectures”. Even Libby “Five Stars” Purves is unmoved: “I was startled by just how downright dreary an evening in the Lyttelton can be.” But the prize goes to Charles Spencer with his superbly written one-star in The Telegraph: to quote from or precis it would be unfair, as it is well worth a read.
Good week for Charles Spencer. Quite apart from his spot-on take on Greenland, he’s decided he’s not having any of this Spiderman crap either. In what must be the most superb opening lines to a review ever written he declares: “Never mind turning off the dark. I spent much of this dreadful new musical muttering Please, Lord, make it stop. And sometimes, miraculously, it did.” Charlie, you’re the kind of critic we could get used to round here.
Bad week for Patrick Stewart. Apparently confusing actors with people who have important jobs, Mr Stewart wrote in the Guardian that “I would never attend a costume party, nor would most actors I know. Costume parties are for civilians.” He also tells us how amazing at skiing he is.
Good week for theatregoers who don’t actually go to the theatre. This week’s broadcast of King Lear from the Donmar by NT Live was impacted by a satellite issue. Those there in person generously held up the production whilst it was resolved.
Bad week for gossip. What’s On Stage gossip column this week breathlessly reported that Rebecca at the Shaftesbury Theatre has been impacted by an underwater river. Which was confirmed by the producer of the show in December.