Right of Reply: Patrick Kealey
The director of Group K theatre responds to Rachel Halliburton's review of his production of Kristendom
Tuesday 22 June 1999
I do not take issue with Ms Halliburton's distaste for the production, although five separate references to nudity and the actors' looks seems somewhat excessive. And if Ms Halliburton had seen fit to mention that she hadn't actually bothered to see the production all the way through, then I would have said "so be it". However, she purported to give an assessment based on an entire sitting.
As it happens, the second half of my production did engage with medieval concepts, as other reviewers of the show have acknowledged.
The actors do not resort to "flippancy" - they are interpreting my text and following my direction. It suggests that Ms Halliburton understands very little about how to attribute responsibility for what occurs on stage.
There was not "frequent nudity" - there was one scene, a bath house, where the actors are undressed. On several occasions actors appear bare- topped, but I doubt if many people would count that as nudity. The overall impression given, I assume with deliberate intent, was to demean the artistic vision of the pieces and imply that the use of naked male actors was for gratuitous purposes.
I accept that a sexy, eye-catching style was used for publicity purposes. We were, after all, trying to sell an epic of 15th Century medieval chivalry in an overcrowded London theatre scene. I don't think most people would object to an ensemble of attractive, confident young actors.
Our audiences adored the play and we have been offered a transfer to Edinburgh this summer. I don't object to a bad review, but I do mind one from a critic who walked out of the theatre half-way through.
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