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August 12, 2004

Some really, really bad writing for us all

An actress who is currently in a leading role at the theatre where I work - a very sweet and talented lady, in fact - brought to my attention something that brings me boundless joy and unbridled mirth. I hope it can do the same for at least one other person.

This actress, named Julie, was in a production at UC Davis some years ago, and one particular review was SO badly written, that it made national news. The New Yorker re-printed it in their "Rich, Beautiful Prose" section. What makes this story even more nutty is that family members of hers - in England, no less - heard this ridiculous review. A review that just so happened to be about their niece, who was starring in a show in a tiny, Northern California city.

(you might even want to read it aloud)

[From Capitol Currents, a newsletter published in Sacramento, Calif., republished in the New Yorker]

"The Beaux' Stratagem is a less than famous tale to the American audience written by George Farquhar that is being performed by the University of California, Davis under the European director Frank Hauser. Although The Beaux' Stratagem is relatively a new story to the student audience, the major actress manages to breath air into the play, Julie Eccles who plays Mrs. Sullen, Lady Bountiful's daughter-in-law is powerful. She single handedly carries and makes the night. But how does she accomplish this task? One must look at the play for the answer. The scene is an old rural town several kilometers from London in 1707 in which this play takes place. The major character begins her powerful roaring. For she has come upon the stage. She is a swan of beauty and grace which sails through the portals of the mind into greater sunsets. She is an eagle that soars through the sky to another atmosphere. In short, she carries the play with her wonderful, classical, energetic, smooth performance. Miss Eccles' mouth is a grand canyon of excellent speech. The voice is full of fire, pain, pleasure and love; yet natural. Her voice is full of raw emotion which is born within a person. It is not taught. Moreover, her voice is a shark which swims from its mother's belly into the blue ocean. It is the bird which is tossed from the nest, and it flies. The play flew because of the skills of Julie Eccles, and the fact that she is glorious does not hurt!"

I mean, it's almost too much to be believed. I love it.

Posted by kati at 06:06 PM