Monday, February 28, 2005

The politics of criticism

Are newspaper proprietors taking an unhealthy interest in the views of their theatre critics, asks Anthony Field in The Stage.
What is of concern about any cursory dismissal of a drama critic is the warning it might give to the successor that it is important to toe the line. Even more so, these days one must be increasingly disturbed about the political and social views of a proprietor, editor or critic when it comes to assessing productions and performances. With recent political documentaries being passed off as plays, the political complexion of a newspaper might well influence a drama critic’s reaction to such productions. Even further, stories abounded about certain critics’ assessment of performances by Ian McKellen before he came out and after. Further, there is obviously a hidden agenda prevailing about actors such as Derek Jacobi and Kevin Spacey.

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