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LETTER FROM MIKE TARR (article first published : 2002-03-10)

I have read and listened with some sadness, amusement (and amazement) in the past week since I first heard about the outcry following my (and B Suter's) review on Under My Skin. I could write a thousand words on my feelings on what has been said and written by Tim Wells and Brendan Jury - but it was only tonight that I read the e-mail from Wells and his comments about how unqualified we are and how much disrespect they have for our views.

As Tim Wells knows he has had some wonderful press from me in the past. A front page interview story, rave reviews on A Dame, A Dog and a Dead Guy at Lango's and other favourable comments. What a pity then, that he has to disregard and now tear up these reviews as they come from the pen of an ex sports editor who knows nothing about music and theatre.

Pity, too, that he will have to remove from his scrapbook (which I am sure is overflowing with nice words) comments from that well-known former aerobics instructor.

I am sure they have other actors in this town on their side. Happily my conscience is clear. After interviewing (and promoting) most of the leading thespians in this town I think they know that I have always been fair and sometimes too fair in my efforts to promote the arts and give it that extra rating.

One doesn't expect it but it is always nice when an artist phones and thanks you following a rave review. Naturally Mr Wells never phoned once when the going was good. That's fine. I know what I like and so do my readers. As someone who has seen Sinatra 'live' twice and listened to his albums since I was weaned on them 40 years ago, I think I have a fair idea of interpretation of lyrics and styling.

But I ramble on. I wish Mr Wells and Mr Jury all the best for their future productions. I am sure the Berea Mail and other publications will gladly inform the people of Durban of their shows, seeing the threat has been made that B Suter and M Tarr will no longer be invited to opening nights.

Good luck chaps. In the words of someone they really respect in this town. "Are these guys mad, don't they want to work in this town anymore?

Regards, Mike Tarr (Editor, Daily News Tonight)




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