A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

letters
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

LETTER FROM TIM WELLS (article first published : 2002-03-12)

I know I said I wouldn't but sorry. Enough is enough. Here we go again!

Indeed, I have changed my tune with the unfolding of recent events! Billy Suter's defensive stance is understandable. He believes he is right. We all know we have had so-called "rave reviews" from these men - although some of them have included patronizing and inaccurate remarks. The rave review of Copenhagen (forget about these pathetic RATINGS) included a negative comment about a "faltering" German accent, which I was NOT adopting. I used a slightly clipped speech pattern and made sure names of places and people were as accurate as possible. - a subtle and stylistic vehicle to enhance characterisation. This was unrecognizable to Suter and hailed by Tarr as an accurate German accent!

Brendan Jury won a Vita award for his role in The Pianomen. Billy Suter said his performance was wooden.

In Under My Skin, we adopted American characterisation as a stylistic medium to encapsulate the era of Sinatra. To Suter, this was "slicing thick the ham and corn" and "silly". An American audience member said to me that he thought it was effective and we sounded like one of his neighbours!

Of course we don't believe we can never put a foot wrong (I find the use of inverted commas around the word "professional" highly patronising) and we have no problem taking constructive criticism from an informed base. I don't care if every other critic in the country had no theatre background. I think it is imperative that someone writes from a qualified and informed platform. Watching and writing about shows for 20 something years might help a little - but obviously not enough. Suter's Hitler analogy is ineffective. I might have taught someone how to fly planes for years - they always crashed but I carried on charging for the lessons! The RESPONSIBILITY at hand seems to elude these men. As ARTS Editors, they should be delegating appropriately.

How low of Mr Suter to make reference to a personal moment when I broke with etiquette to thank him for his support - we used to be virtually neighbours! Unfortunately, in light of the way our work has been butchered recently by the two Dailies, I have to call to question the relevance of all past commentary. Of course Mr Suter thought his crit of Under My Skin was fair - a 60% pass mark that doesn't exactly make the grade, that will take away ticket sales! He thought it was that bad. The people LOVED IT!

Yours in truth, Tim Wells




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart