Bailey and dyspeptic colonels

Off to Bill Bailey tonight with my lad, and was reading a nice interview with him from the Times a few weeks back, which includes this:

His live shows are his metier. But they aren’t without their frustrations either. Last year, he staged Pinter’s People, a production of Harold Pinter’s sketches, in the West End. But the daily critics couldn’t see any poeticism in this incongruous cast of comics’ “coarse” approach. Bailey is still bruised by it all. “Even now,” he says, “objectively, calmly, I do think it was unfair. It sounded like a bunch of dyspeptic colonels being told that there was jazz being played in the club bar. There was a harrumphing tone to it.” Before the far more positive Sunday reviews came out, Pinter rang Bailey to commiserate. “He said it was totally undeserved and they’d missed the whole point of the exercise.”

I saw Pinter’s People with my son, and I thought it was charming. Not dramatic lightning by any means, but nicely done and very, very funny. My son went home and read Pinter for the next two days. Why on earth would a drama critic have a problem with that? Who are these idiots?

If you want a laugh at a critic’s expense, go and watch Jonathan Jones scrabbling for purchase as he tries to justify a volte face to the Turner Prize winner, Mark Leckey. He can’t of course, because his original point of view, like his new point of view, had no value. It’s all just posturing in words in a desperate attempt to be interesting. I know, I’ve done it.

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