In the latest round of the continuing dispute known as Artists vs. Critics, a British playwright has suggested that reviewers who gave bad notices to her latest show had spent the afternoon drinking before seeing the play that night. The playwright, Timberlake Wertenbaker, told The Guardian that several of the critics who reviewed her play “The Line,” which began performances on Nov. 18 at the Arcola Theater in London, attended an evening performance that followed the presentation of the London Evening Standard theater awards that afternoon -– a four-hour ceremony at the Royal Opera House that included a Champagne reception and wine service at lunch. Ms. Wertenbaker said that the critics “weren’t all drunk but it’s hard to get through something like that without being tired,” adding that “The Line” “is a complicated play, it’s difficult, you have to pay attention to it.”

I read it here.

I’m not sure it’s good to criticize reviewers. But what do I know?


  1. Nobody likes to be criticized, and there’s nothing wrong with a reasoned defense to specific criticisms. On the other hand, assuming that no one got your stuff because they had too much booze is not really the way to go.

  2. … and then there are the times when I WISH people drank too much so they would listen with less discerning ears! 😉

  3. No you don’t either – I have just realized that I’m about the pickiest person I know – I should’ve been a critic (a. k. a. reviewer). Is it too late for a career change? I can be as smarmy as anyone, honestly.

  4. These days I think reviewers are *losing* their jobs, so it’s probably not something to jump into, Tim! 😉

    But you can do it for free, of course.