Saturday, December 23, 2006

The 2nd Half at Dundee Rep Theatre

I took my seat for the 2nd half of the play after buying an overpriced faux-Cornetto from a surly usher. Excitement prickled my loins as the lights dimmed and the curtain went up. I prepared to be transported once more into the world of Sweet Burd o' Bairns, a Scots translation by Matthew Fitt of Tennessee Williamm'ss Sweet Bird of Youth. As the players took to the stage, I could sense the magic of the theatre working its spell. I immediately slipped into a deep slumber.

The sound of applause at the end of the play woke me. I apologised to the fat gentlemen next to me whose girth I had utilized as a comforting pillow in my drowsiness. I gauged by the strength of the clapping and a certain level of American-style whooping that the show had been enjoyed by many, so decided that my review should be positive.

After leaving the auditorium, I met once again with my fellow critics who were discussing the play and drinking alcohol.

"A triumph!" wept Robert Dawson Scott.
"Fandabedozee!!" squealed Thom Dibdin.
"Gadzooks, but that was confounded rot, what what?" barked Neil Cooper.
"They should have shown the castration scene in full," said Joy Watters.
"And what did you think of it all, dear?" asked Joyce McMillan, directing her question to me.

Because I had not watched any of the play, I was caught a little off-guard by this question, so decided to bluff my way through by reviewing my faux-Cornetto instead.

"While not as complex and multilayered as the original, it nevertheless resonated with a certain home-grown chilliness and the kitch gaudiness of design added to, rather than detracted from, the overall appeal. Though the balance of elements never quite works, there is much here to enjoy," I said.

"I quite agree!" declared Joyce McMillan to the crowd, before whispering to me, "Though these ones didn't have the little blob of chocolate at the foot of the cone." Here she winked.

"After confabulation, we have charitably decided that the play is to be judged decent but flawed overall," said Joyce, "If only the director had sought out our advice first, we could have happily helped to iron out some of the more glaring errors of judgement. But it was originally by a ****ing yank, so what the **** do you expect?"

Here, Neil Cooper of The Herald produced his blunderbuss once more and fired it at a member of the Front of House staff who managed to deflect the shot with a tray of fruit pastilles. A trio of dancers from the resident Scottish Dance Theatre were the only ones to be injured, but they are ten-a-penny.

As Thom Dibdin attempted to subdue Neil Cooper and Joyce McMillan yet again, I made my escape from the building. And that, dear readers, was my first experience of the world of criticism.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. How do you know so much about the Theatre and Scottish art type reviewers? Are you a local press officer type in disguise?!

Anonymous said...

Very astute observations. Having only had 'relations' with two of the mentioned critics, I can verify your characterisations. More please!