:: Encore Theatre Magazine :::: British Theatre: Polemics & Positions ::
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:: Friday, December 08, 2006 ::
Christmas Comes Early
How is that some mediocrities manage to hang around and make some kind of career in the London media? How does Toby Young do it? He may have stopped playing at being a theatre critic, but last time he appeared on Late Review, he was honoured with the title of playwright! Both of his two so-called plays got far too much press attention, simply because they were about two of the obsessions of London journalists: Westminster tittle-tattle, and the Royal family.
Also Michael Billington deserves mention for praising "David Greig's Blackbird" in his review of the theatrical year...
And of course Billington doesn't mention Simon Block's Motortown, Mark Murphy's The Cut or Gregory Motton's Black Watch...
Presumably he didn't see Blackwatch or Motortown. To my memory, the only Simon Stephens play he has reviewed was On The Shore of the Wide World. He spent the whole of the review comparing Stephens to Chekhov (unfavourably for the most part), which wasn't very helpful and of course, increasingly, his visits to Edinburgh have gone from brief to non-existent.
Pretty sure nobody anywhere ever has seen Simon Block's Motortown or Mark Murphy's The Cut... basic facts! /red pen
Ahem, Anonymous, I think that was the joke? Following on from Billington's reference to David Greig's Blackbird? Do keep up!
Apologies for the slip in Michael Billington's piece, but thanks for your attention. We've now corrected it - Guardian Unlimited
What about Michael Billington? Have they changed him too? Also, since when, has Gareth from The Office been posting on here?
Is it just vitriol here? Where we impoverished, but righteous underlings of the theatre world rail against those wot rule? Is there any room for balance or moderate criticism?
Toby Young isn't a great critic. But he is not a philistine. He is anything but. And his two books are hilarious. Is it worth wondering about the journalistic realities of the situation? I think Young probably catered rather well for the Spectator's readership. For the most part, I rarely agreed with him, but there it is.
Michael Billington is not a voice for the avant garde, let's agree on that. But he is also not the fusty old fool you take him for. He likes the well-made play perhaps a bit Too Much, but the Guardian has Lyn to balance things out.
Billington reviewed Herons in 2001 and a quote from him about that play adorns all the books Stephens has had published.
No, you're right. My mistake. Everything's just fine. I'm just bitter because the world is ruled by Toby Young and Michael Billington.Post a Comment