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LETTER FROM BILLY SUTER (article first published : 2002-03-30)

I stated earlier that this correspondence was now closed, from my side, but I simply cannot resist offering a final (and I do mean it this time!) few paragraphs to clarify something in Paul Slabolepszy's recent letter to artSMart.

I would like it known that I am not - and never have been - a member of the so-called "Huddled Snack-eating Threesome", referred to by Mr Slabolepszy. How amusing!

I did not see, let alone review, "Running Riot" so was nowhere near his production, let alone his precious, obviously begrudgingly offered snack tray.

A colleague, who has long contributed reviews, provided that crit for The Mercury. I attended another show opening that night.

Also for the record - I, for one, certainly don't need huddling, snacks, free drinks or any form of discussion, much less findings from laugh monitors (how BIZARRE!!), to decide what I like or don't like. And, frankly, I can't think of anyone I know who would allow himself/herself to fit this mould.

It should be pointed out that there have been countless occasions when local reviewers have presented vastly different assessments of a production, as earlier letters in this finger-wagging series have pointed out with such relish.

So much for THAT conspiracy theory.

And seeing it has been brought up by both Paul Slabolepszy and Anthony Akerman, I would like to offer that the reason most local reviewers are reluctant to ALWAYS record reactions of opening night audiences is a simple one. More often than not, in this little city anyway, opening night audiences tend to comprise a good percentage of rent-a-crowd: family, friends and colleagues of the cast and/or production team.

In closing, just that quick and simple reminder to all in the theatre profession: You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time!

Billy Suter, The Mercury




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