THE PERFECT STORM: 1974
This extremely average student production of ‘Fortune and Men’s Eyes’ gets a place in the pantheon – not because of the quality of the show, which was negligeable, nor because of the acting – which was woeful – but because it unwittingly unleashed the first of our several bouts with the combined forces of the press, the moral majority and the law. Of course, there were full houses. Then the production promptly fell under art-attack at home for being popular. We didn’t have the term ‘P.C.’ in those days but, trust me, with both feminism and the Pram factory at full tilt, theatre was a minefield of tiresome ‘dos and don’ts’. ‘Fortune and Men’s Eyes’ was good – and bad – simultaneously; either politics or populist pap, ‘gutter theatre’ or triumph.
All it needed was a single journalist…
‘It is positively indecent, in my view, that such ineptitude should masquerade as popular theatre and that so many people were attracted to it under false pretences…’
‘It’s about time someone stood up against this so called degrading theatre and I’m prepared to stand up and be counted…’