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Dan Antopolski's Penetrating Gaze
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Dench! Or How Dame Judi Got Her Groove Back
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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Dench! Or How Dame Judi Got Her Groove Back
Can two characters suffering from terminal STDs really form a loving relationship? Is Magnum P.I an appropriate role-model for your average bobby on the beat? If questions like this have ever kept you awake at night, or you’d like to think you could be the kind of person who would be kept awake at night by these questions, then we’ll get along nicely.
Picture if you will, a show where time slows down, eight-minute sketches with no discernible point or punchline, performers with no visible talent or conviction, and an audience who appear to be losing the will to live and you will still be some way off from visualising the coffin of comedy that is Dench!
This appears to be some incoherent and unlinked train of thought spewed onto paper and recited by obviously uncomfortable students with no structure, direction or reason.
It is not surprising that some of the audience walked out, it is surprising that any of them stayed until the end, losing an hour of their lives that would have been more constructively and entertainingly spent sitting alone in an empty room.
The only redeeming feature of this mess was that for the first section some of the drivel was drowned out by the noise of an onstage fan, alas the fan was turned off and the torture resumed uninterrupted.
This is as bad as it gets. Just dreadful.
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw
Hello, Dame Judi here. Now that the shows over, I justed wanted to say thank you for all your comments, both positive and negative. I've seen enough comedy to understand that some people just aren't gonna like stuff and we're cool with that. Your right Dicky, bad reviews do suck but to these none of us are a stranger, so focus upon them we do not. Overall us as a cast had a great time doing this show and despite what reviews and comments may suggest so did quite a large number of our audiences. So I guess what I'm saying is hate all you want but we had fun so we win. See you all next year! But before that, thanks to Raymond for his suggestion keep an eye out for the Dench! schools tour, starting in October. Peace out, much love.
Some angry friends here. As someone who reads reviews here frequently, I would take what Corry says more seriously. Rest assured, she knows what she is talking about and must do to write for Chortle. Bad reviews suck but hey, just get on with it.
Sorry but I have to agree with the reviewer. The cast had possibly two or three decent actors out of what 10? The sketches had no structure, barely any punchlines, and just shaped out as a clumsy bad writer's mess from people who simply had no concept of what a bad idea it was to take it to the Fringe. It sounds harsh, but sometimes a review is harsh because it has been made easy. Basically if I want to go to the West End, I expect West End quality, if I go to the Fringe, I expect a variation of tastes and quality however the only place I would expect to find this is in a school.
This review is a classic example of the Fringe overload. A mass of hypocritical employees of various agents with no previous journalistic experience being paid to rant. If there was any skill here there would be some kind of constructive opinion. For one, a journalist would have researched the show and realised that the majority of the cast are not students. You can say however that the style and content of the show would appeal to a student audience. Secondly, the actors and script are not the only things that contribute to a show. Lighting, props, direction, costume are all factors that could be addressed with more than an off hand comment. Commenting on a cast as talentless is pharisaical when the review written is lacking talent itself.
I'm sorry but the author of the review is totally out of order. I went to see the sketch show today and I thought it was great. no, it wasn't to the standard of the west end or such like, but if i'd wanted to go and see something like that, I'd have gone to the west end. They were a group of young people showing the talents they DO possess, and to criticise them to the extent the writer of the review did, is totally outrageous. There's a difference between having 'fun' reading and writing the reviews, but when it gets to the extent of putting the young people down to the maximum, it's getting too out of hand. Well, an opinion is an opinion and each to their own, but please don't let that woman's thoughts sway YOU to not go and see it. Thankyou.
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so"