Thursday, 29 January 2009


There's a silly and fun blog entry half completed, sitting in my little blogcubator. It'll be with you soon.

In the meantime, there remains a shitty, flyblown little dag hanging from my last entry. Let's snip it off. Someone called 'Christopher' posted this bit of nonsense on the OurBrisbane site. Because I don't want to hijack KLW's blog, I'm writing it here. I don't feel particularly comfortable using cusswords over there. But here, I can be as rude as I bloody well like.

'Christopher's' blog comment is in bold type.

As I'm sure you're all aware, The Brisbane Theatre Industry is struggling as it is, without people creating a blog because they're unhappy with reviews, actors that review or people that review under different names.

I wasn't aware that Brisbane theatre is struggling. Sure it's hard to fill rooms, but it's hard to fill rooms anywhere. The community itself is turning out a lot of great work.

I don't know if you're referring to my blog or Katherine's or both, but my blog was not created to kick back at honest reviews, negative or otherwise. Nor is it adversely critical of most of my peers. In fact, it wasn't created as specifically a 'performing arts' blog at all. If you'd spent any time here, you'd know that. But you haven't spent any time here. Thank you Sitemeter, by the way, for this information:

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I'm also quite sure Katherine's blog is not intended as a poison pulpit either. From what I've read of it, she merely wants to discuss theatre issues and promote healthy conversation around same. And by the looks of things lately, she's succeeded.

A review is an opinion piece; anyone can write one. Whether it's a piece of theatre you've seen, an art exhibition you've visited or an experience at a restaurant, you can write your opinions anywhere you choose. On blogs, web pages, the back of a seat on public transport, for example.

"A review is an opinion piece; anyone can write one". Is this similar to 'Opinions are like arseholes, everyone's got one'? It usually helps an industry if the person critiquing that industry has some knowledge of the work carried out in that industry. You've reduced me to sounding like Ralph Wiggum.

Writing on the back of a seat on public transport. Surely you do not condone the defacing of public property? Tch tch. Naughty.

I'm struggling to understand why The Theatre Industry in Brisbane is so caught up in petty competition and rivalry, when the reality is we should be supporting actors, producers and reviewers alike.'s a struggle. We're not caught up in rivalry, petty or otherwise. For the vast majority of the time we are a united, synergistic entity. We tend to have a good relationship with reviewers too, but it's pretty hard to have any kind of relationship with someone who's hiding behind a fake name.

Is it possible that an artist may choose to write under a pseudonym because a) they can and b) they want to be known for their performance work rather than the fluency of their writing? Why are we assuming that actor/reviewers have bad intentions?

Yes, it's possible. Many things are possible. I'm sure in this crazy 21st Century wonder world it's 'possible' to catch farts and paint them purple.'Possible' is not the point. If you think that 'because they can' is in any way a reasonable justification for a behaviour or action (outside of the old joke about dogs licking their genitals), try using it as an excuse next time you fuck up and see how well it goes across.

As for b), what makes you think that it's acceptable for someone to hide behind a fake name purely because they wish to avoid the potential for criticism from their peers? If they want to be active in the industry AND a reviewer, fine.
But why do you deem it acceptable to open oneself to scrutiny in one role, yet try to justify avoiding it in another? If a person is afraid to have their work as a reviewer scrutinised in the same way it is in other roles, would it not make sense to avoid said roles? Yes, it would make sense. Your line of reasoning here is not only a big, fat, ugly double standard, it's facile nonsense.

Maybe it's because I neither perform nor review that I don't understand the level of offence this causes to some of you. I simply want to see more and more high-quality theatre in Brisbane, which seems increasingly unlikely by the rate of negative blogs, malicious personal attacks on actors and reviewers and unsupporting theatre-folk.

This sounds like a deliberately inserted 'blinder'. Maybe it is because you neither perform or review. Your opinion, though poorly formed and ill-expressed, seems too firmly held and defensive to be coming from the GP though.

Where are the 'malicious personal attacks'? Please provide examples.
Who are the 'unsupporting theatre folk'? Ditto.

These accusations have been levelled before, and they have come only from those who have been responsible for reproducing work from other sources and/or the use of pseudonyms. It's perfectly natural why those responsible have tried to defend the indefensible (and in doing so deflect blame elsewhere), but it's odd that someone not even remotely involved with our industry would try to defend them, especially with such an obviously weak argument.

Pseudonym or no pseudonym, a review is a review. Whether it has a high distribution or not. It's simply someone's opinion of a piece.

Thanks for the redundant closer.

By the way, the website that last year published reviews with non-original, non-credited material has re-posted one of them on their site. I'm not sure why this is so, but it's worth pointing out that the original, from, is no longer there. So perhaps they think it's acceptable, given that the the original work would be difficult to get a hold of.

Difficult...but 'possible'.