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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dear Editor

Robert Peterson writes in response to Mark Colvin’s reviews in KWANA.

I have read with great interest, Mark Colvin's reviews of both "Unforgettable" and "Cinderella", published in recent subsequent issues of KWANA in the City.

Whilst I welcome a critical review of any musical or theatrical presentation, I do question the use of language and descriptions that Mr Colvin employs in his reviews. Some examples are as follows (I have highlighted in bold, the parts of Mr Colvin's reviews that I am referring to):

* "To put it bluntly, the male lead singers (Sam Marais and Renee) had all the charisma of wet-wipes and voices so mediocre that the lyrics were inaudible".

* "The female leads (Pume Zondi, an Idols finalist, and Gina Shmukler) were somewhat better. At least they were sexy and were competent singers but even they lacked any real timbre to their voices".

*"Having whined on about the show you may well want to take my word on it with a pinch of salt given that other notable reviewers including Sally Scott, Silly Butter and Aunt Caroline all seemed to enjoy it immensely".

* "One wonders why this year’s panto wasn’t put on as usual at the Playhouse. We know that the woman who runs the Playhouse (I forget her name but you will know her because she puts her damn picture on every Playhouse programme) is difficult to work with. Perhaps she skopped Steed and Queen from the city centre venue and forced them up the hill and that is why they had to stitch together Unforgettable? Of course this may all be malicious rumour but it is a nice piece of gossip that we in the southern suburbs are seldom privy to so I may as well share it even if it is garbage".

In my humble opinion, a review should consist of material relating to the actual presentation and not additional information regarding the show's background or genesis. The said review should also incorporate the correct names of persons referred to in the article.

I also question the credentials of Mr Colvin as a reviewer. Whilst I laugh at his often frank and sarcastic comments, I feel he should downplay his personal opinions and work on improving his writing ability and correct use of the English language to critique a particular performance.

Sincerely, Robert Petersen

Here are the links to the respective articles from KWANA as mentioned above: