08/02/2012 at 9:19 am 5 comments

One doesn’t like to say one told you so, but one saw all this coming. Just a few points before we move on from the navel gazing.


There is a long tradition of artists and critics alike using pseudonyms in the entertainment industry. Sarah Bernhardt, Martin Sheen and um, Snoop Dogg are just a few that spring to mind. George Bernard Shaw switched his name when he turned his hand to criticism (and made more money than he ever had as a playwright) – so it’s nothing new. He was also one for obscure philosophical German references, if you catch my drift!

In any case, one tends to value a piece of writing based on its content, rather than assuming it has value simply because of the author’s name. That would be like subscribing to every David Williamson play based on the success of The Removalists. How Absurd! So we read, openly, seeking anything to indicate something other than a febrile glossing over of petty aesthetic differences, to find the core of the argument, and assess such new information on its merit, rather than from whence it came. And in this case…


One also began life as a whiny little snark posting under a pen-name, dissatisfied with the shallowness of arts coverage coming from the fourth estate. Naturally the responsibility for editorial styles of criticism can be placed with the writers and editors – this seems obvious enough – so one reserves their trolling for the hacks that presume authority over the rest of the audience; so the better part of one’s nature can then attend to the business of responding (without judgement) in order to expand one’s understanding of the work. It would be unseemly to carry on about it. But you read it here first. About three years ago.

If you are wondering what this is all about check here, here and here. One doesn’t rate the debate, but one is extra snarky about it since the list of “growing army of theatre bloggers in Australia” left one off the list!!! Outrageous. Given that almost everyone who was listed has reached out with positive feedback about the writing. And this ingenue with a bag of Smiths on her shoulder gets a free publicity run for being a kind of sensationalist shit-stirrer. CURSE YOU CRITTENDEN!!!

But it seems that’s what readers want. Shallow fuckers, aren’t you?

Well one can only do one’s best to write for oneself. Deal with it.


Seems unlikely that in all the hand-wringing of recent days nobody asked the obvious.

Who is the “leading Australian theatre critic” who said that “if she didn’t like [Baal & The Seagull] then she didn’t understand theatre” ?

That’s the real scoop in the story. It’s easy to pick on the new kid, but really – whomever it was said that in public might just find themselves next in line for ridicule…

sancz out

Entry filed under: Sydney THEATRE.


5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. epistemysics  |  08/02/2012 at 10:37 am

    I, too, wasn’t mentioned in that list of critics, but that’s okay, because (a) I’m not too popular, and (b) my last name isn’t readily available (not that it’s a huge secret or anything). Still. We should stage a riot or something.

    As for the “leading Australia critic”, I’d be very interested to know who it was too. Indeed, I’m wondering if there’s a critic in Sydney who actually liked both of those shows (I didn’t like Baal much, though I loved The Seagull).

  • 2. anvildrops  |  08/02/2012 at 10:53 am

    yes. galling… what!

    I didn’t catch Baal. But i am familiar with the play… just because it’s terrible doesn’t mean directors should leave it alone.

    But some things belong in the fringe sector. I don’t know why the powers-that-STC thought it would be a fit with the blue rinse set. it’s just a fucking awful play. even Brecht disowned it.

  • 3. James Waites  |  09/02/2012 at 6:37 am

    I would have mentioned both of you – if it’s any consolation…

  • 4. James Waites  |  09/02/2012 at 6:49 am

    By the way my name isn’t James Waites – it looks real. KInda tricky huh! Anvil Drops and Epistemysics are dead give-aways…

  • 5. anvildrops  |  09/02/2012 at 7:14 am

    ahhhhh HA! it was you!


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