11 July 2006

This minute, Radio 3 is playing the full-length version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pink Floyd's 1975 tribute to their former member Syd Barrett, who died on Friday. Legend has it that "a heavyset man with a completely shaved head and eyebrows wandered into the studio while the band was recording Shine On. They did not recognise him for some time, when suddenly one of them realised it was Syd Barrett. He was greeted enthusiastically by the band but subsequently slipped away during the impromptu party for David Gilmour's wedding, which took place later that day. It was the last time any of the other band members saw him." (Wikipedia)

In other more cheerful news... Encore Theatre Mag is back! Absolutely marvellous. The new entries are very provoking. It's great to see their flashing blades cutting a swathe once again. Though being a cowardy custard, I slightly blanch at some of their more personal thrusts. Anonymity's a funny thing. Like old man Plato says, if you found a magic ring that made you invisible, you could go round doing good stuff, or you could just be really, really naughty, safe in the knowledge you do so with impunity. Encore though, for me, do plenty enough good to keep them on the virtuous and lovely side of the line.
Also joining my blogroll today, incidentally, the virtuous and lovely (and disgracefully talented, from what I've seen) Tom Morton-Smith.

More on provocations and anonymity. The Whatsonstage messageboard has hosted a fascinating exchange between David Eldridge and a pseudonymous detractor, 'Carl Linden'. Eschewing anonymity, DE sparred with CL about Market Boy, mounting a patient defence against the hysterical accusation that the play is "crap, and totally inauthentic". DE is to be applauded for stepping up to the plate, and if you'll forgive me further extending the baseball analogy, he threw his opponent a curveball (he pitches as well as bats, stay with me on this) by asserting that 'a spirit of generosity' is essential for a dramatist (as CL appears to claim he is).


David Eldridge said...

Well 'Carl Linden' is a dramatist and that was why I wanted to take him on. He's entitled to his view but I think what distinguishes dramatists from the nauseating bitching that many others in the theatre world partake in is consistently a spirit of generosity - and certainly in public. As Nicky Wright said envy and bitterness and - success actually are enemies of writing.

I discovered quite easily who 'Carl Linden' is (I knew such a monstrous big-mouth would post elsewhere on the internet and so he does). He is a playwright & director and in the early-90's was regarded by a few as promising dramatist. Presumably he went by the name of a Noel Coward character because despite slagging off the National he still sends them his plays!

The anonymity question is a good one. Despite the mountain of abuse 'Carl Linden' heaped upon me (and in one claim an outright lie he no doubt excuses as an act of 'cultural terrorism') I decided to respect his right to anonymity. It is that very anonymity which can often enable a debate.

I couldn't resist however leaving a tiny clue to his identity/message for 'Linden' on the 'Donmar next season' thread as to his identity just to let him know I know who he is!

sbs said...

Thanks for that DE. Still trying to work out who CL is!, I'll get there in the end.
You're right that sometimes anonymity (or pseudonymity) can free people up to have a proper debate, and that can be very invigorating. Too often though it's just used to have a pop at someone knowing there'll be no comeback - like when me and the other writers on this '50' bursary were pseudonymously abused. Leaves a nasty taste, that kind of thing.
Nice one about the Donmar though, you Ibsenian you.