Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Ellie Kendrick, Toby Young, Judi Dench: Hell Hath No Fury Like Actresses, Critics and Commentators Scorned...

Well, a commenter kicked off about my slightly provocative review of Romeo & Juliet on londonist earlier in the week...

Fair enough, I think. I was quite cheeky about Ellie Kendrick, and appreciate someone commenting on my writing, whether for positive or negative. In some cases, negative feels more meaningful.

During the same couple of days I was interested to read that the lovely Judy Dench has also made her feelings known about Charles Spencer's comments about her performance in Madame De Sade:
"I've always rather admired you but now realise you're an absolute shit," she wrote.
The ever-readable Toby Young has made this brilliant addition to the Guardian's theatre blog on the subject:

The golden rule in theatreland is that you should never respond to your critics, no matter how uncharitable you think they've been. Whether you're a playwright or an actor, the correct response when asked to comment on an unfavourable notice is to deny all knowledge of it... They know that the worst punishment for a critic is to be ignored.

Most critics regard these sorts of letters as the equivalent of receiving a Tony award. Had I ever received a missive like that from a theatrical dame, I certainly would have milked it for all it was worth, just as Spencer has done...

...the best way to make a critic feel guilty about a negative review is to be gracious about it.
Thanks Toby. This certainly made me smile.

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