Posts tagged ‘west end whingers’

2 November, 2010

Reviled. Respected. Revived.

I didn’t enjoy the Lyric Hammersmith’s revival of Blasted – but you’d think I was sick if I said I had, right?

Sarah Kane’s first play features rape (both explicit and implied), bigotry, despair, physical and psychological torture, the sucking-out of a man’s eyes and the cannibalism of a dead baby. What respite there is comes from the darkest possible humour. And Sean Holmes’s production both lingers on the atrocities, and punctuates them with eked-out moments of anticipation-laden near-inaction: held breaths of suffocating duration.

It’s not a play you enjoy; it’s one you endure.

When I arrive home from the theatre, the first thing my housemates ask is “Did you enjoy it?”. Taking in a show is a leisure pursuit, so it isn’t surprising that people judge the experience on how pleasurable it is. So can giving your audience a thoroughly miserable time ever be considered a valid artistic objective?

To mix my media momentarily and paraphrase Sally Sparrow from the Doctor Who episode Blink, sad is happy for deep people. Enjoyment isn’t necessarily every theatregoer’s goal or expectation; or at least, enjoyment can be reached by more than one route – for instance, via discomfort.

Stick with me.

In Blasted, the Soldier (Aidan Kelly) accuses journalist Ian (Danny Webb) of closing his eyes to the lives and hardships of the people he meets. To watch / endure Blasted, and not to turn away when (for instance) the Soldier goes to work on Ian, is to prove oneself better than Ian and the people he represents (you and I). The enjoyment to be had from the play is a kind of solemn, supercilious smugness. “I watched. I didn’t pretend it wasn’t happening. I faced it without flinching.”

But who left the auditorium resolved to pay more attention to foreign wars, or to the people sleeping in shop doorways on your way to work? Not I. I was just relieved it was over. That’s just the thing: it ends. You know it’ll end even if it seems interminable (and those dramaturgical held breaths of Holmes’s play havoc with your perception of time; it’s masterful). You’re allowed to stop facing it down – it lets you win the staring contest in a way real life never will. The victory is fiction, and the smugness is founded on fiction.

Written by Sarah Kane

Crew includes Sean Holmes (director), Stef O’Driscoll (assistant director), Paul Wills (designer), Paule Constable (lighting designer) and Christopher Smutt (sound designer)

Cast includes Aidan Kelly (Soldier), Danny Webb (Ian), Lydia Wilson (Cate)

Need a second opinion? (Or for someone to actually tell you whether the production / performances were any good?)

29 September, 2010

“Get dressed. The big fellah’s on his way.”

Everyone and mother has reviewed The Big Fellah already, but here’s the stuff nobody mentioned.

The Shadow of Sean O’Casey

Matt Wolf compares Richard Bean to Martin McDonagh and (tangentially) Harold Pinter in his review for The Arts Desk. Matt Trueman similarly calls the setting “Pinteresque” and references McDonagh’s In Bruges. Writing for What’s On Stage, Michael Coveney compares The Big Fellah to Bill Morrison’s Flying Blind.

Worthy comparisons all, but I’m surprised no one cast back beyond Morrison and McDonagh to Sean O’Casey, the master of Troubles tragicomedy. It could be because I studied it exhaustively at A Level, but O’Casey’s The Shadow of a Gunman sprang to my mind as a comparison almost immediately.

Gunman is a lot more claustrophobic in terms of scale and timeframe, but the similarities are there nonetheless. There’s the setting: a safe house in a deprived area (O’Casey’s in a Dublin slum, Bean’s in a Bronx brownstone). There’s the man seduced by the patriotic allure of the IRA (O’Casey’s Donal Davoren, who likes the glamour, and Bean’s Michael Doyle, who joins up out of a sense of duty to the victims of Bloody Sunday, fuelled by imagined ancestral pride). There’s the IRA assassin, laying low (though, okay, Davoren’s only pretending while Bean’s Ruairi O’Drisceoil is the genuine article).

The other thing Bean’s play has that O’Casey’s doesn’t is redemption, which may stem from the fact that O’Casey was reporting live, right from the heart of the Troubles, whereas Bean is charting their history (or, if we’re really lucky, writing their obituary).

“Britain’s most provocative playwright”

Aleks Sierz boldly labels Richard Bean thusly in his review for The Stage, though in the comfort of his personal blog he qualifies the assertion with a “perhaps”. I work for Aleks at theatreVOICE (full disclosure!), so I hope he won’t mind me saying I don’t agree with his judgement on this one.

For a start, I hope that Richard Bean isn’t Britain’s most provocative playwright, because if all it takes to earn that epithet is to point out on the Olivier stage that Britain is historically hostile to immigrants (in England People Very Nice), British drama is in trouble. (Having said that, I’m not sure I can think who does deserve the title. Tim Crouch, maybe? Nominations in the comments, please.)

For a follow-up, I think that while England People Very Nice was a deliberately provocative play, The Big Fellah isn’t, and I don’t see the value in bringing up the playwright’s reputation for being provocative in relation to a non-provocative play, unless it’s to say “he’s usually provocative, but this isn’t”.

I suppose my issue is with the journalistic tendency to slap labels on people, as shorthand for readers (“Oh yeah, that guy”), and to apply those labels regardless of context – and not with Aleks (my editor) after all (phew!).

“Get dressed. The big fellah’s on his way.”

What none of the critical community fail to mention is Finbar Lynch’s captivating turn as David Costello, the eponymous Big Fellah. There’s also plenty of well-deserved praise for Rory Keenan as Ruairi (the main character, to my mind, and the most interesting, beating the big fellah by a hair’s breadth), though not nearly enough for Claire Rafferty as the vibrant Elizabeth Ryan.

Unfortunately reviewers’ word counts are such that, when you only appear in one scene of a two-hour production, and the quality of your performance is matched by certain of your fellow cast members, all of whom have more stage time, you get sidelined. Well, Rafferty’s performance is lively and earnest; she makes light work of some clanging mouthpiece-of-the-playwright lines; and for a few short minutes she matches the charismatic big fellah blow for verbal blow.

Now, did I miss anything?

Written by Richard Bean

Crew includes Max Stafford-Clark (director), Tim Shortall (designer), Jason Taylor (lighting) and Nick Manning (sound)

Cast includes Rory Keenan (Ruairi O’Drisceoil), Youssef Kerkour (Tom Billy Coyle), Finbar Lynch (David Costello), Claire Rafferty (Elizabeth Ryan), David Ricardo-Pearce (Michael Doyle), Fred Ridgeway (Frank McArdle) and Stephanie Street (Karelma)

Those reviews in full:

17 November, 2009

Public Property

Trafalgar Studios, 16 November – 5 December 2009

Reviewed for the British Theatre Guide

At first glance, Public Property is a boilerplate Trafalgar Studio 2 production. Recognisable faces: check (Robert Daws, Nigel Harman and even Stephen Fry, phoning it in via vid-cameo). Humour that doesn’t tax the brain: check (sight gags and comic situational escalation best enjoyed after a glass of wine in the bar). Skilled but slightly overly wordy scriptwriting: check (courtesy of Sam Peter Jackson).

On closer inspection, however, this is something of a rare find: a play about three gay men in which the characters’ sexuality is almost incidental, an extra thematic layer rather than the piece’s raison d’être.

Daws is celebrated newsreader Geoffrey Hammond, who throws himself on the mercy of his ruthless publicist, Larry De Vries (Harman) after being caught by paparrazzi in flagrante delicto with 16-year-old Jamie (Steven Webb). Geoff does protest once or twice that the press wouldn’t be interested if Jamie had been a girl, but the play is more concerned with celebrity, PR and fickle public goodwill than “LGBTQ issues”. Geoff knows, despite his protestations of innocence, that this incident matters more to his reputation than any number of broadcasting gongs, and even Larry is branded repeatedly by his lowest point: the media only remembers him for being booted off the judging panel of a failed reality show.

It’s often difficult to feel any sympathy towards Geoff, who really has only his own indiscretion to blame for his downfall, but Daws does an excellent job of showing the desperation behind the bluster, and his raw vulnerability when talking to or about his offstage lover Paul provides the production’s tenderest moments. Harman is believable whether smooth-talking and in control or plain incredulous at his client’s behaviour, though he flips a little too easily between the two modes, and reacts so little to mentions of Larry’s debts and vices that they seem more a throwaway subplot than an integral part of the character’s backstory.

Jackson’s script, too, is generally sound, though a bit baggy towards the end of Act One, and overly reliant on the repeat-repeat louder-shout-shout-pause formula for writing arguments. Like most Studio 2 shows, Public Property has its flaws, but is still a satisfying enough night out; and it boasts the additional merit of sidestepping the damaging and judgmental “gay play” label which, given its premise, it could easily have been slapped with.

Written by Sam Peter Jackson

Crew includes Hanna Berrigan (director) and Helen Goddard (designer)

Cast includes Robert Daws (Geoffrey Hammond), Nigel Harman (Larry De Vries) and Steven Webb (Jamie Sullivan)

Need a second opinion?

11 September, 2009

Reviewing the upholstery

Written for The Collective Review, 11 September 2009

I spent a pleasant hour on Wednesday experiencing Theatretank’s ÁTMAN, which involved wandering the residential streets and footpaths of south Wimbledon while listening to an abridged audio version of Peter Handke’s Self-Accusation.

Theatretank’s mp3 player setup was one of the better ones I’ve come across when investigating audio-assisted productions. The player was small and simple to use and, even better, came with a lanyard, so I could hang it around my neck instead of cramming it into one of my already overloaded pockets like I had to for Rotozaza’s Wondermart; but the headphones themselves, though they were great at blocking out ambient noise, kept working their way free of my lugholes.

I spent a good long while during and following the performance trying to decide whether to mention the wayward earbuds in my review. I kept coming back to this question: would reviewing the apparatus as well as the content be equivalent, in straight theatre terms, to reviewing the theatre upholstery as well as the onstage action?

I don’t have a concrete answer. And there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with reviewing the upholstery; if your seat is uncomfortable it impacts upon your experience of the play. The West End Whingers often take leg room, sight lines and bar tariffs into account in their reviews, rating their entire night out, not just what they see on stage.

What does excite me – as a combined theatre geek, language geek and futurism geek – is the effect audio-assisted productions are having on one small corner of the critical landscape. The language of criticism as it stands is inadequate to describe performances like GuruGuru or Rotating in a Room of Images, so every article or review written about such productions must experiment and re-evaluate until a new vocabulary is formed.

The term ‘production’ gains precedence over ‘play’, because ‘play’ implies an audience and performers, and many audio-assisted productions have neither; which in turn necessitates the use of a term like ‘participants’ for those involved. There are ‘audio-instructed’ productions like GuruGuru and ‘audio-assisted’ productions like ÁTMAN and David Leddy’s Susurrus.

As the landscape evolves, language evolves so we can continue to describe it. You don’t have to be a language geek like me to appreciate the symmetry.

14 May, 2009

Tunnel 228

Old Vic Tunnels, 13 – 23 May 2009

Reviewed for the London Theatre Blog

If you’re reading this, chances are you missed your opportunity to experience Tunnel 228, and you want me to tell you what it was like. But having spent an hour under Waterloo Station experiencing it for myself, I find I’m reluctant to spill the beans.

While I decide whether or not I’m in a giving mood, here are the publicly available facts. Tunnel 228 is a free but limited capacity art-exhibition-cum-theatrical-installation, the result of a collaboration between Punchdrunk, the Old and Young Vic theatres and a selection of contemporary artists. Booking had been open, but kept hush-hush, for four days when The London Paper gave the game away, prompting the remaining slots to book up in a matter of hours.

While I disagree with Matt Trueman’s suggestion that the freesheet’s article invited undeserving participants to the event, for three reasons – a) it smacks uncomfortably of elitism and arbitrary judgments of ‘worthiness’ to experience art; b) the article was an innocuous one on page six that would most likely only have appealed to Punchdrunk fans anyway; and c) his notional ‘deserving’ fans had a four-day headstart – he does make one vital point. Tunnel 228 isn’t meant to be found (i.e. stumbled upon at random); you’re meant to find it (i.e. actively seek it out).

The booking site, disguised behind a tacky frontpage advertising a rail cleaning service, is difficult to find unless you know you’re looking for something (if not exactly what that something will turn out to be). The entrance to the venue is nearly impossible to locate unless you’ve found the website.

Even once you’re inside, there’s no guidance to be had from the stewards: they’re mute unless they’re telling you what you aren’t allowed to do. The onus is on you; on your self-motivated voyage of discovery. Will you attempt to figure out the origin and purpose of the Rube Goldberg machine? Hunt down the man immortalised in mural form on various walls? Seek out all Slinkachu’s miniature dioramas? Or just make it your mission to explore every corner – even the ones you’re not sure you’re allowed in?

That’s all I’m giving you in the way of hints. You’ll thank me if, as Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin hopes, the tunnel reopens in the autumn, and you can experience the thrill of discovery unspoiled.

Participants include Punchdrunk, Old Vic, Young Vic, ATMA, Lightning & Kinglyface, Kate MccGwire, Luke Montgomery, Polly Morgan, Petroc Sesti, Slinkachu, Vhils, Hugo Wilson, Xenz and Busk

Need a second opinion?

8 April, 2009

Death and the King’s Horseman

National Theatre, 8 April – 17 June 2009

Reviewed for the London Theatre Blog

Staging Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman as the second of 2009’s Travelex £10 Tickets shows could prove to be an extraordinarily prescient decision by Nicholas Hytner. The first, Monsterist Richard Bean’s England People Very Nice, was a risk that predictably triggered reactionary accusations of institutional racism directed at Hytner’s National. Soyinka’s play takes a more widely accepted stance on Britain and race, namely that the treatment of Africans by white British colonialists was condemnable. Though Death and the King’s Horseman was programmed well before England People Very Nice opened and the accusations began, in context it feels like a comforting reassurance that the National Theatre does not condone racism.

The play, written in the 70s and set in the 40s, hasn’t been staged in Britain for nearly 20 years, and never before in London. This could be something to do with its message no longer being exactly box-fresh.

When the colonial District Officer, a whited-up Lucian Msamati, hears that the King of Oyo is to be buried and his Elesin (Horseman) is expected to accompany him via ritual suicide, he decrees that This Will Not Do and – through a well-meaning but heavy-handed mission of mercy – risks fundamentally unbalancing the Yoruba way of life. While regularly staging our country’s dirty colonial history is a necessary reminder that the stories of those oppressed need no longer stay buried, the idea that colonialism was wrong is no longer revelatory.

Fortunately, an examination of pig-headed white ignorance is not all the play has going for it. The Elesin, a rogueish and commanding Nonso Anozie, has his own doubts about his assigned path.

The Yoruba require the veneration of their descendants to validate their afterlife, but the Elesin’s son has been sent away to England by the District Officer to study medicine. In life, his (hereditary) position affords him the best of everything; in death he faces the ignominy of the childless, but to live on after his king’s burial is to sit with arms folded as his world careens towards a cliff-edge.

His veiled appeals for guidance, in dialogue with his Praise Singer (Giles Terera, whose clowning steals his every scene) and Iyaloja, matriarch of the market (played authoritatively by Claire Benedict), share a ritual quality with the majority of Director Rufus Norris’ ensemble production. Every point in the debate is laden with allegory and folklore, every utterance accompanied by deliberate gestures that confer a wise and premeditated significance. Ensemble movement, chants and drumming imbue the production by turns with carnival exuberance and funereal solemnity.

Whether within or despite its context in the National’s programme – whether or not staging it is Hytner’s insurance policy against Richard Bean’s crowd-baiting – Death and the King’s Horseman remains an intrinsically poetic and thematically multifaceted work. Whatever the circumstances that brought it to the Olivier, it’s very welcome there.

Written by Wole Soyinka

Crew includes Rufus Norris (director) and Katrina Lindsay (designer)

Cast includes Nonso Anozie (Elesin), Claire Benedict (Iyaloja), Lucian Msamati (District Officer) and Giles Terera (Praise Singer)

Need a second opinion?

12 March, 2009


Bush Theatre Unit 18 (West 12 Shopping Centre), 3 March – 26 April 2009

Reviewed for the London Theatre Blog

It’s all too easy to remain detached from the subject of Iraq. It’s thousands of miles away, it no longer makes daily headlines and the combined British and American military is gradually washing its hands of the place.

Stovepipe aims to pick us up off the sidelines and deposit us bodily into the midst of the relief effort. Based out of the Bush Theatre’s new bar venue, Unit 18, the production transforms the boiler rooms and dead spaces below the West 12 shopping complex into a promenade performance space.

Designer takis’s sets are nothing short of lavish – and little wonder, with Hightide, the Bush and the National Theatre all backing the play in some capacity. There’s a conference centre, a hotel room, a café bar, a war-torn city street and more, and every new environment is further evidence of high production values and attention to detail. With the audience free to roam, everything – from the posters promoting fictional investors in the rebuilding programme to the papers in the office in-tray – must stand up to close scrutiny, and it does.

The performances, too, are consistently convincing and engaging. Shaun Dooley doesn’t quite reconcile British mercenary Alan’s caring and violent sides into a unified character, but as our guide it’s important he remain sympathetic, and keeping the lid on the violence helps achieve that. Eleanor Matsuura, meanwhile, infuses every female character in the show with distinct but equally potent varieties of strength, independence and (occasionally) warmth, in the hands-down best performance of the night. As Sargon Yelda’s Arabic interpreter puts it, “the Americans have a phrase: ball-breaker.”

So why does Stovepipe still fail to suck the audience in?

Maybe it’s because the design is too slick. The bar and office furniture looks like it was bought yesterday, brand new. Maybe it’s because the one time we actually visit Iraq is the one time the staging is necessarily representative rather than realistic, and the rest of our time is spent in Amman, Jordan, a staging post for forays into Iraq; like Alan, we feel like we’re between places, waiting for the real action to begin.

Or maybe it’s because of the play’s scattergun chronology, which flashes backwards and forwards with nearly every scene and offers very few narrative signposts to help us find our place in Alan’s story. Trusting the audience’s intelligence rather than patronising them is always the right call, but in this case the complexity of the plot requires us to keep disengaging from the moment in order to look at the bigger picture and see where the latest piece slots in – and getting lost in the moment is what allows us to care.

Written by Adam Brace

Crew includes Michael Longhurst (director) and takis (designer)

Cast includes Christian Bradley (Andre/Grif), Shaun Dooley (Alan), Niall MacGregor (Eddy/Harry), Eleanor Matsuura (Carolyn/Masha/Sally) and Sargon Yelda (Saad/Marty/Rami)

Need a second opinion?

2 December, 2008

Brickbats in Cyberspace

Written for the London Theatre Blog

Modern theatre criticism has problems, and those problems are generational in nature. That’s the one overriding conclusion with which I left the Royal Court after Brickbats in Cyberspace, in which a panel of theatre critics, bloggers and theatre practitioners convened to discuss the effect of the Internet, and specifically blogging, on modern theatre journalism.

There are very few professional theatre critics in the UK, by which I mean people that earn a living from theatre criticism alone. Of those few, the vast majority are of what most people like to call ‘a certain age’. I knew this before attending the discussion; as a young person working in the field of arts journalism, it has a direct effect on my life. What I hadn’t considered was the effect it has on the evolution of theatre journalism as a form.

The small cadre of professional critics was represented on the panel by Charles Spencer, lead critic for the Telegraph. From the off, Spencer declared himself openly hostile towards theatre bloggers. He accused the blogosphere of watering down critical discourse with a morass of uninformed opinion, and claimed that same morass would soon put him and his colleagues out of their jobs.

Spencer labelled his hostility “a generational problem”, and admitted that he simply didn’t like computers and technology. He also labelled himself “the last of the Luddites”; unfortunately, this epithet is not as accurate. His contemporaries are, if anything, older and more set in their ways than he is. Which means the most powerful portion of the critical establishment wants nothing to do with new media.

How is criticism supposed to evolve and find a place in the media as it exists today, if its biggest names think blogging is the enemy?

Not everyone in the industry is resistant to the change new media offers. Andrew Dickson, arts editor for the Guardian Online, was also a panellist. The Guardian have been quicker than their competitors to embrace online content. But the publication still follows the formats and processes of print journalism. Dickson commissions reviews, blog posts and podcasts or videos in the same way as his print counterparts.

No one has yet fully grasped the potential of new media. No one has fully exploited the combined power of online journalism, podcasting, social networking and mobile synchronisation. I still structure my reviews for London Theatre Blog the same way I would for a print publication. But if the critical community is held back by an older generation with a lot of clout and no love for web 2.0, by the time we get there technology will have moved ahead of us again.

In some ways perhaps it already has. Wired magazine declared the death of blogging in October, and the theatre industry still has yet to fully acknowledge its legitimacy. Whether or not the problem is generational, there is indisputably a problem: technology moves fast, and we’re being left behind.

Also covered for the British Theatre Guide

The role of the blogger in theatre criticism was given some long overdue scrutiny in this panel discussion, held at the Royal Court on 1st December, 2008. The event’s audio was broadcast live online; an archive can be found here.

Chaired by Karen Fricker, Variety critic and lecturer in Theatre Criticism, the panel included Charles Spencer, lead critic for the Daily Telegraph; Andrew Dickson, arts editor of; Judith Dimant, producer for Complicite; and a rare public appearance by well-known theatre bloggers the West End Whingers.

The discussion sought to explore the relationship between professional print journalism and online content, as well as the reasons why bloggers blog and the opportunities for greater integration in the future.

Spencer singled himself out early on by declaring a simple dislike for new technology and voicing concerns that free online content could soon lead to job losses for broadsheet theatre critics like himself.

Dickson took the opposite stance, challenging the notion of a “battle” between print and online media. Though he agreed that print publications are foolish to consider further culling the small field of newspaper critics, he denied that blogging is to blame for the trend.

Throughout the debate, Dickson and Spencer remained opposed to one another, perhaps confirming an assertion of Spencer’s that hostility towards blogging is “a generational problem”. The majority of high-profile broadsheet critics are of a certain age, and are wary of new technological developments simply because they cannot understand them.

Lead Financial Times critic and avid blog commenter Ian Shuttleworth, contributing from the floor, summed up the situation: “It’s a great time to be a writer; it’s a lousy time to be a professional writer.”

Providing practice and exposure for aspiring writers incapable of elbowing into the tight-knit world of print criticism was suggested as one major advantage of blogging.

Spencer disputed whether this open floodgate could be seen as an advantage, bemoaning a continuing downward trend in the quality of written English. He cited the famously eloquent notices of Clive James and Kenneth Tynan as evidence of quality now long lost.

But Shuttleworth argued that bloggers are actually filling a quality vacuum left by newspaper critics hired more for their famous names than for any critical prowess. British Theatre Guide London editor Philip Fisher also pointed out that the best writers will naturally be read the most in any medium. Dickson agreed, saying that, online as in print, there are both good and bad writers; the bad ones are not necessarily confined to the Internet.

Another advantage of blogging – one that complements professional journalism instead of competing with it – is the similarity of the blogger’s experience to the average theatregoer’s, claimed the West End Whingers.

Neither Whinger harbours aspirations to professional criticism. They have day jobs, buy their own tickets and are not guaranteed the best seats. This, they said, allows them a perspective denied the professional press, who are traditionally granted complimentary seats in the most expensive area of the house.

Precisely because they pay, the Whingers feel justified in criticising contextual aspects of the experience not usually mentioned by mainstream critics, including bar prices and squeaky seats.

The potential for members of the public to comment on blogs and thus enhance a show’s word of mouth appeal was also raised, by Judith Dimant.

Complicite have experienced the power of online hype first-hand. Dimant attributed an unexpected sell-out run in Michigan, where the company is not well known, entirely to a popular blog post published on opening night.

The panel offered various explanations for the popularity of theatre blogging as a form of expression, including dissatisfaction with print criticism, a desire to vent personal opinions, and self-promotion (or, as the Whingers put it, “attention seeking”).

Looking to the future, Spencer remained convinced that blogging will signal the death of the professional critic and potentially of paid journalism in its entirety. Dickson and Dimant were more optimistic, foreseeing greater interaction between old and new media as editors and theatre companies eventually discover the merits of online content.

One contributor from the floor suggested that web journalism is in need of a philanthropic cash injection, similar to the Trust that funds, if it is to survive as a profession and not simply as a sideline or supplementary income.

One point the panel agreed on was that online journalism has not yet fully evolved. New developments are constantly being made; Twitter is already being proclaimed the successor to blogging. Both the theatre and newspaper industries need to adapt more quickly to new advances in order to exploit their full potential.

Print media and blogging were discussed so extensively that there was little time to mention middle ground publications like the British Theatre Guide. Not affiliated to any print publication, but edited to a professional standard and complying with the standards of print journalism, such outlets cannot be defined either as blogs or as professional (i.e. paid) journalism.

Perhaps incorporating elements from both ends of the spectrum will ensure that websites like this one survive as a happy medium. On the other hand, perhaps Twitter is the future, and clinging to outdated standards of quality will ensure a swift demise. The real outcome probably lies somewhere between the two extremes, but if technology continues to evolve at its current pace, it won’t be long before we find out.

Need a second opinion?