Every now and then you encounter a show that is so spectacularly inept you are left in a daze. I had exactly that experience last night when I went to review "C'est Barbican", a woeful blend of camp cabaret spoofs and performance art staged by the "Duckie" troupe. They were recently named winners of this year's Olivier Award for "Best Entertainment". So much for theatre critics. I turn to Alan Bennett's diaries for consolation:

"Steven Berkoff, who is currently everywhere, is quoted as saying that critics are like worn-out tarts. If only they were, the theatre would be in a better state. In fact critics are much more like dizzy girls out for the evening, just longing to be f****d and happy to be taken in by any plausible rogue who'll flatter their silly heads while knowing roughly the whereabouts of their private parts. A cheap thrill is all they want. Worn-out tarts have at least got past that stage."

(Ah, you might say, but don't you make part of your living as a critic too? Yes. But I don't review theatre. Which reminds me of a story that John Cleese once told about meeting an accountant at a party and asking him if he didn't mind that accountants were the butt of so many Monty Python sketches. Not at all, said the stranger with a smug smile. "You see, I'm a chartered accountant.")

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/12/critical-mass-every-now-and-then-you.html|||12/15/2004 11:07:00 am|||||||||