From the ed­i­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Deb­o­rah Jones

NOT so long ago we got two rather odd re­quests re­lat­ing to up­com­ing shows. Would we like to send some­one other than our usual critic to re­view the per­for­mance? The feel­ing, ap­par­ently, was that our reg­u­lar per­son wouldn’t quite get what the or­gan­i­sa­tion was try­ing to achieve. We didn’t get far enough into the con­ver­sa­tion to find out ex­actly who would be the bet­ter per­son to fill the critic’s seat: some­one from the com­pany’s public re­la­tions depart­ment per­haps? It was far from the first time such calls had been made to us. My view is this: if an arts com­pany would like us to choose part of their sea­son, or do a bit of cast­ing for them, pos­si­bly they could horn in on some of our du­ties. Such as as­sign­ing crit­ics. And just so you know, we do not pass on to our crit­ics the fact they are not wanted. That could af­fect their judg­ment, no mat­ter how hard they tried for it not to be the case. Hi­lar­i­ously — and this was years ago — one artis­tic di­rec­tor had to shame­facedly apol­o­gise to me af­ter the critic in ques­tion wrote a rave. You just never know, do you? FANS of the This Life col­umn, and they are many, should turn to page 6 (well, don’t skip Jane Corn­well’s piece about the fas­ci­nat­ing co­me­dian Mark Thomas that starts on page 4, but you know what I mean). To­day I am pub­lish­ing an ex­tra This Life, a piece of writ­ing that I wanted to share with readers but which is far too long for the usual spot. It is, how­ever, ab­so­lutely in This Life ter­ri­tory, an ex­pe­ri­ence that is per­sonal, yet has wider res­o­nances. I can’t prom­ise to make a reg­u­lar fea­ture of this, but ev­ery now and again may throw in a sur­prise or two. En­joy.

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