More of this, thank you.

Tuesday 29 January 2008

Many thanks to Natasha for alerting us to Lyn Gardner’s latest addition to the Zero Stars Hall of Fame. This time the accolade goes to An Audience with the Mafia:

“He shows absolutely no mercy for the English language. His stresses and pronunciation are so murderous, it’s as if he is conducting a personal vendetta against the spoken word. If the script, a stupendously dull mismatch of gore, conspiracy and high romanticism, is delivered with all the animation of the speaking clock, the Mercy Man’s arms make up for it. They are like demented windmills. When he says “me” or “I”, he points at himself; when he says the word “think”, he points at his head. Presumably to check that it’s still there.”

Fabulous stuff. Read the review here.

Tragically (for us) Counterfeit Skin just scraped by with one star from Fiona Mountford in the Evening Standard:

“Jason Charles takes as his theme a tangle of modern-day gay relationships and manages, in an eye-watering running time of three hours, to offer barely one original thought or genuine sentiment… Jake, Luke, Leo, Mach, Pip and Ralph behave in ways that only ring true if you’re a character in a badly-written play, with an infuriating habit of ending sentences on upward inflections.”

Wonderful! We look forward to welcoming Ms Mountford to the club shortly.

And while we’re on the topic of punches not pulled, check out John Morrison’s post about the Hampstead Theatre on the Guardian’s blog today. We couldn’t agree more. Marvellous.

5 Responses to “More of this, thank you.”


  1. Possibly an honorary place for Andrew Haydon’s review of An Audience With The Mafia? I’m afraid I advised him that it probably wouldn’t be politic for his first published FT review to be a no-star and that readers wouldn’t have a metric of his writing, so he gave it what by all accounts is a generous one. Star, that is, otherwise that sentence is filthy. He’s also a little worried about waking up to find one of the heads from Equus in his bed.


  2. We’re surprised that he (and you) can shave of a morning.

    The delicate contract of trust between the FT and its readers has been seriously undermined.

    How will he (and you) feel if some poor FT reader down to his or her last £40 spends it on ticket for An Audience with the Mafia? encouraged by that unmerited star?


  3. Aforementioned pasting here: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/95790b50-ced4-11dc-877a-000077b07658.html

    Luckily the star-rating doesn’t seem to transfer to the website, so readers who didn’t buy Thursday’s paper copy will have to guess. Re: “How will [I] feel if some poor FT reader down to his or her last £40 spends it on ticket for An Audience with the Mafia encouraged by that unmerited star?”

    Well, in the first place they shouldn’t have spent £1.50 on a paper – I’m not sure there are FT readers for whom £40 counts as more than small change. And they, at least, are at liberty to walk out as soon as they like.

    Moreover, I can just about justify that star – in the moments before the lights went down, I was reading the programme and noticed that the director’s credits were all for musicals. I was suddenly gripped with a sensation of utter panic. For not turning out to be a musical, and merely the worst performed bit of terrible, terrible writing I have ever seen, perhaps it deserves that star.


  4. Hey, it’s not as if they’ll be doing what comedian Jason Wood did in Edinburgh and quoting that one-star review as ‘”a star!” – Financial Times’.

    Oh, God, I shouldn’t go giving them ideas; the show’s publicists are, after all, Mark Borkowski’s outfit. And his outfits are loud. But never square. I’ll stop free-associating now.

  5. Malkin Says:

    I reviewed Audience of horror for a certain London freesheet. The review was so catastrophically negative they didn’t print it .I think they went for something with at least three stars instead rather than waste room on something nobody was going to see, and sensibly so.

    Just…beyond anything ever.

    Adore the site as always.


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