British Comedy Guide
Secret Reviewer.

The Secret Reviewer #25: Moonlighting Strangers

Every month our clandestine critic reveals the murky truths behind that infamous trade, and live comedy generally. This month: the one industry ill that comedians and critics all agree on.

Twitter may be a raging cesspool these days but sometimes the bile is of a superior vintage. The excellent Letters of Note site recently tweeted a thing of beauty from 2009, in which the soft-rock singer Chris de Burgh writes to the critic Peter Crawley and, politely, tears him a new one. It is sensational.

I won't repeat the more personal digs here - let's just say that the Lady In Red star had clearly done his research - but some of the points will resonate with comedy people, too. Critics slagging off a show that the audience thoroughly enjoyed, for example:

"How you must have writhed at every standing ovation"

De Burgh wrote, not unreasonably, before adding:

"Your churlish review is an insult to all those that enjoyed their night out."

That's a subject that's cropped up several times on this page, commercial vs critical success, but...

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