Eldridge Tussles with ‘Top Critic’ Billington???
Date: 27 April 2005
Guardian critic Michael Billington has ruffled a few feathers with his recent opinion piece about "the fashionable tyranny of the 90-minute play" in which he argued that these “dramatic driblets … offer ideas for plays rather than plays of ideas". A lengthy rebuttal from young playwright David Eldridge - whose new play Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness (90 minutes, no interval) premieres at the Royal Court Upstairs next month (See News, 23 Mar 2005) - is printed in today’s edition of the newspaper. In concluding his arguments, Eldridge writes, “I don't know whether anyone will like my play, but it is written with the head and the heart and it is there waiting to be experienced. Billington offers playwrights advice and it's tempting to tell him to get his tanks off my lawn and stick to reviewing. But instead I'll offer him some advice back. If you come and see my new play leave your notepad and your stopwatch at home.” On a side note, many thanks to Eldridge for mentioning our own little website as part of his argument. “Why bother replying? Well, a less serious critic than Michael Billington would not be worth arguing with and recently users of the website Whatsonstage.com voted him the critic they most trust.” The same people also voted Eldridge’s last effort, the Almeida’s stage adaptation of Festen, which has just finished its extended West End season, Best New Play in this year’s Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. So forgive us for feeling a little divided in this fascinating debate. To view Eldridge’s rebuttal in full, click here, while Billington’s original piece can be read here.
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