I just emailed the following to Peter at The Buzz, and thought I'd post it here as well:
Hi Peter, and all those associated with The Buzz.
I imagine that you’ve likely received some flak from people in regards to Michael Oliver’s “negative” review of The Twelfth Night in your latest edition.
I just wanted to let you know that I was so very happy to read this review. Not because of its content specifically regarding that production, but because of its honesty, criticism (both good and bad) and straightforwardness.
As someone who’s been involved in the PEI theatre scene for a number of years, I am well aware of our island’s unwritten rule of ‘flattering reviews only, please’, and have been the recipient of my fair share. And however nice it is to read such kind words, it somehow begins to ring false or less genuine. They are akin to the mandatory standing ovation at the end of all productions at the Confederation Centre. They become meaningless. And while nobody involved in a production likes to read reviews that are critical of the production, or of their performance in the same, critical reviews are nonetheless valuable in that they can help us (performers and audience) from accepting complacency. Reviews that are only positive and, seemingly, written by friends or associates of the production, give us all something of a The Emperor Has No Clothes syndrome.
So, again, thanks for publishing the refreshing review.