Humor Magazine

More Drama, Darlings!

By Davidduff

Following on from the abysmal production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia of which I saw only half, as I told you in an earlier post, I have been in correspondence with 'a person in authority'.  I will not name the person because the correspondence is, so to speak, private, or at least that person's half of it is, so I will confine myself to my half and one or two discrete quotes from the other half.  I wrote this: 

This production constituted no less than ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, not only on unsuspecting members of the audience but also on poor Sir Tom Stoppard – I mean, what has he ever done to you?  It was inaudible, badly acted (Ms. Flora Montgomery an honourable exception) and not so much badly directed as not really directed at all judging from the non-performances I witnessed. I can only urge you to return Ms. Blanche McIntyre to the role of ASM which, based on the little I saw yesterday, is just – but only just – up to her abilities.

I also directed my correspondent's attention to my blog-post review in which, along with virtually everyone I told about it, I snorted in derision at the casting of two black actors in roles which were obviously white.  My correspondent replied thus:

I do however, find your view of mixed race casting staggering. Here in the 21st century we don't allocate roles according to color of skin but on ability to play the part.

There you have it!  The living proof that the 'intellectual'(!) metropolitan bubble exists and under no circs will common-sense, artistic judgment or loyalty to a writer's aims be permitted if they cross in the smallest way with what is considered by the PC Commissars to be in line with their 'Dogma-of-the-Day'!  I replied thus: 

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my ‘grump’.  My psychiatrist has urged me to bury the memory of your production of ‘Arcadia’ so let us set the pros and cons of it to one side.  

I am sorry you were “staggered” by my views on mixed race casting.  But given your exemplary and politically correct views on the subject I am equally staggered that the two black chaps were only given the tiniest roles.  Bit condescending, don’t you think?  Were they what they used to call ‘stat blacks’?  So why not a black girl to play the role of Thomasina?  Or a Chinese actor to play Septimus?  Or an Indian actress to play Lady Croom? [All early 19th century characters and part of an Earl's household.] 

In the meantime I await your next production of Three Sisters [by Chekhov] in which each of them will be played by ladies of different ethnicities.  But why stop there?  Why not let men play the roles, I mean, ladies insist on playing Hamlet, er, despite the sniggers. 

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the bubble in which these people exist is not metropolitan but Martian!  Anyway, I'm off to Salisbury today to see "84 Charing Cross Road".  Surely, I mean, please, pretty please, they can't fuck that up too, can they?


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