THEATRE NOTE­BOOK

The Jewish Chronicle - - ARTS&BOOKS -

WHAT ARE CRIT­ICS FOR?

HOPES WERE high for Con­tains Vi­o­lence, David Rosenberg’s site-spe­cific show at the Lyric Ham­mer­smith in Lon­don. But they plum­meted af­ter a wave of neg­a­tive re­views (in­clud­ing this page’s) pointed out that, for all the thrilling tech­nol­ogy (you watch the piece on the theatre’s roof ter­race through binoc­u­lars and lis­ten to it through spe­cially adapted head­phones), it fea­tured a fist-bit­ingly bor­ing nar­ra­tive. So crit­ics have a right to feel a tad re­dun­dant when a show so re­sound­ingly trashed has been ex­tended, pre­sum­ably due to pop­u­lar de­mand. As Char­lie Spencer (who was re­cently an­nounced as the Bri­tish Press Awards’ critic of the year) once said, he would rather his read­ers paid money to watch a good show that he said was bad, than wasted money on a bad show he said was good. So, no doubt, would David Rosenberg.

David Rosenberg: run ex­tended

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