Many years ago, I met the writer, Anthony Burgess. He told me he never gave a bad review. If a newspaper sent him a book, he would read it. If he didn’t like it, he would return it with a polite note saying he would rather not write about it. He knew only too well how much went into writing the book and believed that it was better to quietly ignore a writer whose efforts hadn’t paid off than demolish them publicly.
Wise words from a great novelist and I took them to heart.
It seems to me that, among other things, this blog is a great opportunity for me to tell you about the things I love and want to recommend. I’m going to be blogging about the books I read and enjoy. One of my other passions is going to the theatre. I go way more than is good for my bank balance, but I don’t care. I scrimp and save and go anyway. So I’ll be telling you about the plays that I can’t stop thinking about. I spent a very happy year last year as an Olivier Awards panellist. I was given a pair of tickets to every new show that opened in the West End (all 103 of them!). Of course I didn’t like everything but a lot of them were truly wonderful – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, The Dolls House, This House, Richard III and Twelfth Night and Misterman were just a few that have stayed with me. This year, I’ve particularly enjoyed Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood which I thought was thrillingly original and gripped me the to the last minute. And I’m looking forward to Ibsen’s Ghosts next week at the Almeida.
I love musicals too and see as many as I can – The Book of Mormon has been favourite so far this year. I’ve got my eye on The Scottsborough Boys (Young Vic) and Candide (Menier) in the next couple of months.
I’ve got my eye on The Scottsborough Boys (Young Vic) and Candide (Menier) in the next couple of months. And I’ll be writing about any films or TV shows that grab me too.
In fact, I’m off to the theatre again tonight. So watch this space!