Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Text offender

On The Stage Newsblog, Mark Shenton reveals the strange reluctance of The Gate Theatre, Dublin to promote their new show (I guess Ralph Fiennes in Brian Friel's The Faith Healer doesn't need much publicity) and remembers a surprising mobile phone incident.
...this is a theatre whose personnel clearly play by their own rules: at the first night of Uncle Vanya, Sam Mendes’ final production as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse in September 2002 – in a version coincidentally also by Brian Friel – proceedings were constantly interrupted for spectators seated in the circle by the constant pips of arriving text message alerts. The offender was then seen to reply; which of course only meant another pip arriving a minute or so later when a further reply came to him. Confronted afterwards by an angry colleague of mine, he answered: “Chekhov is robust enough to withstand the intrusion”. The offender was subsequently identified as Michael Colgan, artistic director of, yes, you’ve guessed it, the Gate Theatre, Dublin.

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