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Theatre company sorry after misquoting one-star review in The Stage to claim play 'spectacular'

A fringe theatre company has apologised after misquoting a review of one of its plays in promotional material to make it appear more favourable.

Craft Theatre quoted Andrew Haydon’s review of A Nazi Comparison for theatre news website The Stage as saying: “Spectacular… intellectual rigour… wacky physical humour.”

In fact the original copy reads: “This spectacular lack of intellectual rigour is however dwarfed by the wild unevenness of the production itself, which veers between wacky physical humour to unwatchable overheated melodrama.”

Haydon gave the play one star out of five and declared it “unwatchable”.

The misquote appeared in an email newsletter and was posted on Craft Theatre’s Facebook page (pictured below), but has since been removed.

Artistic director of Craft Theatre, Rocky Rodriguez Jr, said: “I personally apologise to the misrepresented.

“To be honest, what happened was that a company member with a bit too much access to Craft’s internal mechanisms let their emotions dictate their choice here. I have taken down the post.

“We’re a developing company – members put a lot of work into Craft. I hope this does not turn people away from coming to see the piece.”

Haydon told Press Gazette: “They have rather crossed the line by changing the meaning.

“However they seem to be a very small fringe company who are probably still learning about making theatre and about how to do pull-quotes”

A Nazi Comparison tells the story of Clare, who after reading a play by Hitler’s favourite playwright notices similarities between Nazi ideology and western imperialism and becomes involved in progressive activism.

It is at the Waterloo East theatre until 29 October.

Comments

4 thoughts on “Theatre company sorry after misquoting one-star review in The Stage to claim play 'spectacular'”

  1. Rocky Rodriguez Jr said: “I personally… misrepresented… Craft’s internal mechanisms… I have taken down the… company. …Members put a lot of… people away from coming to see the piece.”

    1. This is a practice long documented and accepted, at least in the past. In Helene Hanff’s memoir Underfoot In Show Business, (she also wrote 84 Charing Cross Road), she tells of working for the press department of a New York theatre in the 1930s, and gives almost this exact wording as an example of how they edited quotes for their posters and extracted the good words singly. She was working for a theatre company which had over a dozen flops in a row, then hired two unknown writers to collaborate on a musical called Yessirree, or Away We Go. The writers turned out to be Rodgers & Hammerstein, and the musical changed its name to Oklahoma… she writes the story much better than I do. Go read Helene Hanff!

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