Oran Mor

A Play, a Pie and a Pint

“The success of MacLennan's formula has been stunning”
THE SCOTSMAN

David Responds to Critics’ Circle Ire

Friday, April 2, 2010

One of our Critics' Circle reviewers has asked ‘what is going on?’ at PPP this week. The short answer is the 180th play in six years. As these are all new works, commissioned and produced for their first outing for you, there is inevitably an element of risk involved. This week’s play, like many before it, has provoked a very divided response in the audience. Simon Buckland, writing in The Critics Circle above, describes the play as “Tedious, pointless and, fitting the supposed subject matter, God awful.” Stephen Murdoch, in the same place writes “Today’s experience was different, not a simple “panem et circens” experience for me or others in the audience.” Joyce MacMillan, writing in today’s Scotsman concludes “Dimitrijevic is a formidably thoughtful and talented writer; and if it’s possible to shape such a tiny meditative fragment into a worthwhile piece of theatre, then that’s what she has achieved, with this strange theatrical act of prayer.” Alan Chadwick, in Tuesday’s Herald, dismissed the play with 2 stars and wrote ”…there’s little of insight being said here.” Now I do not want to make any claims for this play, I have already endorsed it by choosing to be its producer, but I would just tell you that when Playboy of the Western World was first produced, at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, the audience rioted and tore out the seats in the theatre. I believe that theatre should sometimes provoke an intense response in the audience and am confident that some future play that gives you profound pleasure will be deeply irritating to a person sitting near you. Best wishes, David MacLennan

Latest comments

  1. Donald Nelson said;

    02 April 2010, 10:23 am

    I do not care for the views of critics. When I worked for Scottish Opera, and other companies, I would stand in the wings at the end of a show and watch a full house, on their feet clapping and cheering, only for the critics to rubbish it the next day. I am sure they all get together at the bar after sow and decide who is going to write what.

  2. Jennifer Hainey said;

    02 April 2010, 9:05 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, the reviews mean very little. If the producer, director, actors, everyone involved, believe in the production then it’s a worthwhile piece of theatre. The great thing about this show (which I unfortunately will not get to see this week) is that it has provoked a debate and a divide with the audience. That means people are talking about it and that in itself is a great thing.

  3. Catherine Czerkawska said;

    05 April 2010, 6:36 pm

    As one who has been the recipient of some mixed reviews in the past (sometimes, as I overheard when attending my own play at the Oran Mor, from members of the same family, arguing about it afterwards!) I say good for David, for taking risks. And he’s absolutely right. There are many works that were celebrated as masterpieces at the time – perhaps because they were ‘fashionable’ – but that have sunk without trace – and others that have stood the test of time in spite of being slated by the critics. Anything that provokes a little debate can only be good for theatre in Scotland – sorry I couldn’t manage to see this production!

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