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Sunday, 11 November 2007


Roy Blumenthal

Hi Clive...

This is the MOST outrageous thing I've read! This is awful!

Congratulations on breaking this. And I would really like to know what the management of this travesty have to say!

My ex-girlfriend is an actress, and abuse is NOT part of the deal! SOME people are abusive, sure. But the levels of abuse evident in your description, and the mom's description are absolutely unacceptable.

My current girlfriend is a grade 4 teacher. One of the kids she comes into contact with is also one of the Mowglis. So far, at least 150 tickets have been bought by the grade four kids in her school. And she is now printing out this post to take to school tomorrow morning. She'll be talking to her colleagues, and to the Mowgli about not supporting this production.

Sis on these people. Yuch! This is disgusting.

Blue skies

Clive Simpkins

Hi Roy! Good hearing from you. I wouldn't punish the kids (ticket cancellations) by default though. I think the point has been made, the directors have been (or will be) brought to book and it will result in a whole new set of behaviours among these insular thespians. Warmest, C

Roy Blumenthal

Hiya Clive, Jill, and Keith...

My girlfriend took this issue to school this morning, in the spirit of delving for facts.

One of the Mowglis in the play is at the school she teaches at.

So she asked the boy's form teacher to have a light chat with him, asking him how the production is going, and so on.

This particular Mowgli [content edited. Clive Simpkins] .....is an innocent in the ways of the world.

He reports that the production is incredible fun, that he's enjoying everything about it, even though he's a bit tired during the day.

His teacher also reports that she's had conversations with the kid's mom. The mom says, 'It's been fantastic for him, and he's gained so much from the experience.'

When his teacher asked about the Mowgli who is now just a monkey, he knew exactly who it was. And his comments are telling.

He reports that this particular kid 'is oversensitive', and that he 'takes everything personally'.

When she asked about the swearing, the boy said that there IS swearing, but it's not directed at the kids.

My impression of this is that this thing HAS ballooned out of control. It's highly plausible that R's mom was getting under people's feet a bit, and may have been ruffling feathers.

It's plausible that this entire thing is a very human response to a very pressured undertaking.

Something telling in R's mom's report was that R would forget his lines when Jill was around. The reason given is that he was scared of Jill's derision. Is it not possible that there are other reasons for his forgetting his lines? Maybe he's really just not cut out to be on stage?

I know this probably smarts. Cos he's by all accounts a very clever and capable boy. But Clive... you've been on stage, I've been on stage, and we've probably experienced those really bright people who simply cannot carry a performance. I certainly know how frustrating that can be.

And I've directed one or two such people too. In situations where I was unable to fire them. And the production suffers.

(I think of myself as a pretty able communicator. And if I can't get a performance out of an actor, it's probably (in my mind, anyway) cos the actor doesn't have what it takes.)

I feel that EVERYONE in this situation is justified in feeling angry. I'm observing it from the outside. What I see is this:

A mother disappointed by the circumstances of her child's being fired from a lead role.

Her not being willing to put it down to 'just one of those things'.

Her looking for justifiable places to vent her anger.

A theatre troupe that ekes out a living doing some pretty demanding work. Kids are demanding to work with. The most demanding of all actors.

They're probably a little jaded in some respects. And they're probably a little bit human in their responses to tough calls. Can you imagine the discussions they must have had to get to the point of firing R, KNOWING that there'd be repercussions from an ever-present mother?

The 'professional' actors in the production are clearly NOT as professional as we'd all like them to be. If they WERE at that level, their names would appear on marketing and promotional material. No names appear. This pretty much indicates that they're jobbers. And young jobbers at that. My guess is that they're partly responsible for the friction.

A mature performer KNOWS that a child is not a perfect actor. And they take steps to assist the child. These particular people sound as though they were unwilling to assist.

The swearing is an issue. And I'm sure it's one that's being dealt with. It's simply not as huge an issue as I think it's been presented to us as. Regardless, it's still a sign (to me) of lack of professionalism from the actors concerned.

I swear like a trouper. In fact, troupers could learn a thing or two from me. But when I'm around kids, my mouth remains clean.

Clive... your anger is also justified... you were painted a VERY bleak and horrifying picture by the mother of R. And you are close to the family. And you're possibly too close to have the required objectivity to detach from the emotions.

My own response was one of horror. And I'm prone to such responses. At the same time, I pride myself on being a devil's advocate, on being able to see many sides of a story.

In this case, my emotional response was also justified... given the facts I had.

Right now, my response has shifted. I've heard from other sources, ones that have no interests to defend. And those sources suggest that this issue has almost certainly fallen into the emotional tumble dryer.

My girlfriend is going to be accompanying 125 kids to see the play. And she'll let me know how it went.

If I were a mediator in this (which role I've sorta shrugged into, I suppose), this would be my counsel:

Clive: your annotation of Jill and Keith's response is highly inflammatory. I would counsel you to remove your annotations, and let their response stand on its own two feet. If you want to discuss it, I feel this should be done in the comments section of this blog, not in the all-powerful editor's seat.

Jill and Keith: Clive is correct in pointing out several areas of slackness in this particular production. These may all be circumstantial, and may indeed be reaching us through the lens of anger and disappointment. At the same time, maybe it's worth taking this as a kind of a nudge from the universe to look inward and make one or two adjustments for future productions. Maybe there are better ways of firing someone? Better ways of getting interfering parents to stand down? Better ways of having adults behave around juveniles?

Guys... from where I'm standing, this feels like it's really a matter of compounded factors such as miscommunication, anger, frustration, pain, and, above all else, reaction.

My opinion carries no real weight. Cos I'm NOT a mediator here. Still, I feel that positions do not have to be etched into the earth here. Nor do we need more outrage.

Let's all take deep breaths, stand down, and apologise to each other.

I'm first:

Clive... I apologise for my initial reactiveness, and my later turnaround.

Keith and Jill... I apologise for thinking the worst, and reacting very negatively.

To myself: I apologise for letting myself down in that I reacted before guaging and weighing the facts. I will accept learning from this... next time something like this happens, I'll allow myself to feel the outrage without acting on it.

Thanks for listening.

Blue skies

Clive Simpkins

Hi Roy! Some valid observations, thank you. However, three thoughts: No smoke without fire. So if the directors had conceded that under pressure things might have gotten a bit hectic, cool. But they've painted themselves as wronged saints. Not OK. Second: My annotations to their response may indeed be blunt, but they highlight the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in their response.

The experience of the one happy little boy is good and I'm pleased to hear it. But it's not necessarily the same for all of the kids involved.

Now, you embryonic Kofi Annan you, go take that job at the CCMA - or was it the United Nations! ;-)

Marius boshoff

Hi Clive

I am the 'set-guy' involved with this production and have been involved with Peoples Theatre for the last 20 years.

If the mother of this child found me to be hostile and unfriendly to be around, I have to apologise. I normally go about my business and try and not get involved with parents and children. The reason being that we are working in a very dangerous environment and that it is very difficult for kids to understand that this fantasy world they see, in fact is a dangerous factory. This has forced me over the years to be very strict with children when they are on stage, and you sometimes have to be a little firm for their own good.

I also have to add that R was rather difficult to work with from a technical point of view as he maybe got carried away the moment we had audience. He ad-libbed at random, moved any which way he felt neccesary, with the result that no cues could be taken from him, as you would not know what was coming next.I had personally reprimanded him in the dressingroom about this, and exsplained to him why one has to stick to what is written in the script, and how you were directed, as everybody involved in the production works according to that. Actors and crew alike.

I am also guilty of uttering the odd swear word when the spraygun gets blocked at the time when you can least afford it. So I apologise if I have offended anyone in the process, but I can assure you that I have never directed any foul language at anyone. Its always at tools and things.

And sjoe, if I had acted unprofessionally in still doing touch-ups on the first day, and even on the afternoon of press night, I will continue doing it for the next 20 years, because it's worth it!

I will in future try and swear in my head and not in my mouth. Thank you for making me aware!

Marius. (The set-guy)



I have been following your blog for a while, and have always found you to be unbiased and straight to the point.

However, in this case I feel that since the mother of R is clearly a friend of yours, you are not trying to get your point across - instead you have launched a full scale attack on People's Theatre. You remark on snide comments and sarcasm, while your own replies are littered with them.

If you really were interested in "exposing the truth", you would have contacted the directors of People's Theatre before declaring war, with your only weapon being the mother's side of the story.

Take care,


Clive Simpkins

Hi Zuena! I started the posting with the words, 'Dear friends of mine...' so there was no attempt to conceal. Re the sarcasm: Yup. Not my normal style, [facetious yes! ;-)]but their unctuous psuedo-rebuttal begged it. A simple acknowledgement of at least some culpability on their part would have gone a long way. That regretfully speaks volumes.


I chanced upon your blog via Joblog, and I must say I am astounded by the way you interject your own snide comments and thoughts into the response from the Peoples Theatre. Whatever you may think of them and what they have to say, your running commentary goes against every notion of fair play and the right to a reply. You make some very serious allegations against the theatre, and the least you could is let them reply in their own uninterrupted words. That is simply a basic rule of democratic discourse, and to ignore it casts very real aspersions on your credibility as a public commentator!

Clive Simpkins

Thanks, Travis, for your valid observations. I did however, say, 'In the interests of fast-tracking this...' I could have posted separate comments but it would have been difficult to connect the sequence. My tough approach doesn't negate the issue at hand.



In the reply received from Jill and Keith, they attempted to clarify and answer most of the accusations made against them. The “set-guy” stepped forward and apologised for any inappropriate behaviour that he may have been guilty of (big of him, you have to admit) – but all their attempts were met with snide or condescending remarks from yourself. You can not accuse anyone of trying to conceal the truth or not taking responsibility for their actions, simply because you happen to not like the answers you so boldly demanded.

You can’t seriously expect a love letter from Jill and Keith after publishing such a malicious and damaging report to the public, on the internet (whether based in fact or not), before investigating the matter or clearing up the facts.

The fact that you are not hiding your association with the mother, highlights your subjectivity with regards to this matter.

Are you after exposing the truth, or is it all about having the last (sarcastic) say?

I am the mother of a pre-teen myself. If there is one thing I have realised, it is that no matter how hard you try to protect your children from harmful influences, the day will eventually come when they are confronted with the real world. Granted, we should do everything within our power to ensure a balanced and healthy environment, but we can not possibly always be there for them and shield them from those “big bad adults.”

As a mother, I would be very hurt for my child if she was found lacking – but making a scene every time your child is rejected for a role / not being selected for a team at school, is pointless. Reading the article again, I get the impression that should one scratch the surface a bit, you will find that this is not the first, neither will it be the last time that R's mother has thrown her toys because her "sensitive little boy" was overlooked or not deemed good enough for a certain task. I am sure R is hurt and embarrassed enough as it is, without everyone involved turning this matter into a three-act tragedy.

Take care,


linda Wilson

Greetings Clive

I am the lady referred to as "Linda the costume woman"
I was amazed by the comments made by R's mother. Although at first I thought she was a sound humanbeing, I soon began to realise there was a second agenda and the word "interfering" came to mind. When I sensed this, I remained focussed on the job at hand. I was with R on day one in the dressing room with the other children. He seemed excited but noisy, disrupting the others while I was trying to teach them to fold their clothes, hang up constumes and pre-set any props, etc. I really think as parents we should understand our children are not perfect! Any production requires a team of people all working together and there is no room for divas! I hope R has a successful future in whatever he decides to follow.

Clive Simpkins

Linda, R's mother had precisely one discussion with you as I understand it - regarding the two costumes for 4 Mowglis. You told her you take instructions from the directors and not the mothers, and that was it. Correct? If so, your ability to sense 'second agendas' is quite impressive.

Forbes Wilson

I felt that the comments added to the Peoples Theatre response to the article was a cheap shot at undermining their side of the situation and influencing you readers. I have not seen the production, and suspect that Clive has not seen it either, but I have taken the liberty of adding comments to the original article to prove a point. I hope you have the courage to print it.
Forbes Wilson

Dear friends of mine have just had a ghastly experience with the People's Theatre in Johannesburg .

They thought it was a great opportunity for their exceptionally bright, highly-disciplined little karate-ace son to participate in the production of ‘Jungle Book’.

It would mean him missing out on a karate-grading for the year and having to make special arrangements for his school exams, but I was among the people who said, “Go for it – it’s a great experience and something different.” He did. The dream has come crashing down in tears. Not because he didn’t know his lines, or didn’t apply himself, or lacked dedication.[We have the perfect child here] But rather, by all accounts, because the directors and cast members treat both children and parents with rudeness and abruptness. The supposedly ‘professional’ young adults who form part of the cast have clearly become legends in their own lunch-time, exhibit little or no emotional intelligence, and have mouths worthy of being rinsed with detergent. I urged the little man and his family to walk away from the production.

As a former drama student myself, I recall numerous productions in which we were involved – and they’re all fond and fun memories. No filthy language, denigration, humiliation or self-serving behaviour involved. By either local or overseas cast members.

Is this a story about one of those pain-in-the-butt, overly-protective mothers of a precocious brat, who feels she or he’s been short-changed? No. She’s a dedicated, hard-working school governing body mover and shaker. She works to and upholds the highest standards and she has a razor-sharp sense of decency and fair play. [Perfect mother, perfect son what a combination]I’ve given the detail so you can see the commitment the family made to this production.

Finally, before you read her tale.... as a taxpayer, I have reason to believe it’s our money funding these productions and also the director’s salaries. So read this mother’s first-hand account below and see if you believe it merits intervention. I’m getting in touch with the directors, and also the visionary and superb Civic Theatre complex CEO, Bernard Jay, for his comment. I may also drop a note to Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr. Pallo Jordan for interest. Let’s see what they have to say - I'll post their responses. [I don't know why you don't contact the president as well] It sounds to me as though a far tighter rein of control needs to be exercised on productions where pre-teens are involved. So read her story….

The Mother's story:

"Rehearsals for Jungle Book at the People’s Theatre (part of the JHB Civic Theatre complex) started on 16 October 2007. The directors of the play are Jill Girard and Keith Smith. [On the People’s Theatre website, the blurb for Girard reads: "Jill Girard believes strongly that children and youth must be represented in order to ensure that they become tomorrow's responsible adults with love of the written and spoken word." – ed.] Parents were always given the minimum of information and enquiries were treated with irritation or disdain. Parents were generally expected to drop their children and disappear,[disappear as in we don't need mothers interfering in rehersals] even though some travelled to Braamfontein from locations as far out as Cedar Lakes, Kyalami, the West Rand, Edenvale and Midrand.

"Impromptu (as in, unscheduled) rehearsals were called, without any apology to parents who had to sit around and wait for hours on end. [Pleased to here you never have to wait for him at school or karate] I had to make 2 trips a day, collecting R [her son] from school at 13h00, dropping him there, come back home to collect my daughters from school, and I used to go back to fetch him (which means he would be away from home from 07h00 till 19h00)[Part of what you agreed to take on lady]. My fuel-usage worked out to around R400 per week. [you probably paid that for the active life he led anyway, never mind the R2500/month + school fees]

"We were told that the kids would not get paid for performances, but that they would instead be rewarded with the amazing opportunity to be trained in ‘professional theatre’ and work with ‘professional actors’. The kids were also told that during June 2008 they would perform Jungle Book at the Emperors casino complex, for which they would indeed get paid. [can't complain about that]

"R was cast for the roles of Mowgli and also as a monkey in the production. On Saturday and Sunday the 3rd and 4th of November, the parents were allowed to watch the dress rehearsals. As on every weekend day in the past, it only started at about 11h00 but we had to be there at 10h00. I was amazed to find that there were just two Mowgli costumes to be shared between four boys. R is much smaller than the other three boys, and when I queried this with the costume lady (Linda) I was told that she does “as instructed by the directors, and not by parents”. [Me too, they pay my salary, they get what they want.]

"I realized while watching the rehearsal that R didn’t have a clear idea of the correct sequence of events during a particular scene in act 2, during which a lot of the characters run across the stage. [From a straight A student we have a problem here.] Instead of repeating the scene with him, Jill (co-director) shouted directions at him, which I imagine would be hard for him to remember afterwards. [Again straight A's, wonder how they do it at school.] Only three out of the four Mowglis had the chance to do a full rehearsal. Jill and Keith (the other director) left earlier than scheduled saying that they “had to go to watch the opening of another production”. After rehearsal on Sunday, R told me that this was the very first time that he had been through the full production from beginning to end! Needless to say I was a worried mother...

"On Monday 5 November, one of the other boys was the first Mowgli on stage, and there was still uncertainty about some scenes in act 2, but the boys were told by Jill just to run across stage as they see fit, “just so long as you don’t bump into each other”. Jill and Keith both watched the performances, and told R and me afterwards that they were very happy with his performance. He next performed on Wednesday 7th Nov, and was told again by Jill that he was doing great work. Keith's remark to me was that “he has grown tremendously”. [notice, not perfect, grown tremendously]

"R was, however, told by the young adult actors (playing the roles of Kaa, Baghera and Baloo) that he “fucked up the whole show”, was “an embarrassment to them”, and that he made them “look bad on stage”. Language like “shut the fuck up!” was also used throughout by these young actors, who turned out to be the ‘professionals’ we were promised exposure to!
[No excuse for bad language I agree, I hope he hasn't heard it before]
"On Friday 9th November we realized that the kids were very much on their own - no help in the dressing room (I didn’t see Linda, the costume woman, again, after Monday).[Maybe find out what her responsibility is before you comment,maybe her responsibility ends after having made the costumes.] Props go missing and the kids appear on stage and have to improvise because an essential piece of equipment is unavailable. Costume changes are difficult [specially with mothers hanging around the dressing rooms]and actors appear late on stage for a scene because the costumes were not properly hung up or stored.[Actors responsibility especially with multiple costume changes] R and one of his co-actors ( they’re 9 and 10 years old respectively) ended up tidying up the dressing room out of sheer desperation![Well done R] The only adults around seemed to be Alfie (the backstage person) and Marina in the administration office.

"As far as I am aware Jill watched only the last ten minutes of R’s performance on Friday. (I became aware during the course of the week that Jill and Keith had already started with rehearsals for Cinderella, at Emperor's Palace.)[not many companies only have one job on at a time] After the second show we were told that Jill did not need to see us, and we left. I noticed that R had been crying, and was told that he had again suffered verbal abuse from the young-adult ‘professional’ actors. As we were getting into the car, I received a call from Marina, the admin lady, saying that Jill wanted to see us.

"I was interviewed by Jill and Keith in their office, while R waited in the foyer. I was told that the actors “refuse to work with R”, that his performances as Mowgli “were so bad that these actors noticed the audience holding their hands in front of their eyes to avoid seeing him”, that “he waves at the audience” (I was in the audience and he certainly did not!)[the love of a mother, my child can do no wrong]. It’s alleged he “shows off, fools around, doesn’t focus at all, and mumbles his words”, and that, “because of him the whole production is now in danger of failing.”

"When I asked Jill and Keith to explain how we got from them being ‘impressed and delighted’ with him on Monday and Wednesday to what I was now told in the same week on the Friday, I received only a rambling and unrelated explanation of “how important the role of Mowgli is”. They then offered to let him continue in the role of a monkey, and asked me to break the news to R “without letting him feel bad about himself!” My complaint about the behavior and use of foul language by the ‘young adult professional actors’ was brushed off by Keith with a remark that we as parents were supposed to expect the odd four letter word in professional theater. This didn’t explain the sexual references and discussions held within earshot of the pre-teens by these so-called ‘professionals’.

"R was completely devastated by the news - I don’t lie to my children as I expect them to always tell me the truth, so I had no other choice but to tell him all the allegations against him. [well done ma, he has to experience failure at some time, he'll get over it if you'll let him] He decided to carry on as a monkey, and said that he wants to prove to Jill and Keith that he is not a person who quits, and that he is worthy of the show. We as parents, however, are of the opinion that the show is not worthy of an intelligent and sensitive little boy,[the perfect child] and that it is our duty to remove him from a destructive environment that is harmful, and that can add no value whatsoever to his life, but can only do damage.[hope he doesn't have a cell phone to acces any of the trash going around] We fear that he perceives this as a failure on his part,[which it probably is, why else would the actors refuse to work with him and not the other children] when it is obvious to us that the production of Jungle Book is fraught with poor direction, bad management and total disregard for the well-being of the youthful participants.

"More points worth mentioning: the 'feedback' sessions were feared by all. Jill would start sentences with "and don't you dare..."

"R was petrified of her sarcasm, and once said that a mere look at her would make him forget all his lines. [he'll have to learn to deal with that sort of thing during his life, hope he makes it]

"The set was still not finished on Sunday 4th, and I noticed that the set-guy (Marius) was spray-painting it on Mon morning just before the first show was about to start."

Ed: What do you think? A conspiracy to showcase another Mowgli for some or other reason? If not, how come a 180 degree flip-flop by the directors in the same week?

Should these directors be let loose on children, given the clear lack of supervision and behaviour standards evident in at least this production?[look at past history and decide]

Clive Simpkins

There now Forbes! That didn't take courage. It does indicate though, that you should steer clear of stand-up comedy. Not exactly your forte... You could have made your point more concisely by saying, 'This mother seems to think she and her son are perfect.' Wrong on both scores. The fact that you all join the little laager, doesn't alter the facts. It's what the ANC does - it closes ranks on truth.


I am appallled by your attack on Peoples Theatre which seems to be a personal vendetta without solid investigation.

My son now 16 is rated and has been rated since the the age of 9 one of South Africas top child performers and has been approached on numerous occasions by top directors and talent scouts to move to America for his career.

My son was given his love of theatre by the very organisation you are berating. He started with them from the age of three where he received not only the most phenomenal training but also learnt through them how to cope with the demands of being a true professional. Without this he would not have succeeded like numerous other children in the international arena like he has. Peoples Theatre have produced many children, Candice Hillebrand to name but one that have gone on to international acclaim. never once did we experience any incident or neagtivity with peoples theatre. I beleive that because of the influence of this theatre company and the positive impact it has had on my child - he is now a top academic in his grade - in fact has received an academic scholarship from one of South Africas most prestigious schools which he has held for his entire high school career. He is confident , friendly and is charmingly modest about all his achievements.In addition he has his provincial colours in martial arts. Too many parents push their children into living their failed dreams and what Peoples Theatre did for my son was to allow him to discover who he was and only he could make his dreams happen - provided they are his dreams and not the dreams of his parents. To put you in the picture I truly believe that is because of peoples theatre my son has such a wealth of expereince in the performing arts and his cv well surpasses that of 99% of professional actors in this country. he has worked on numerous international movies with Oscar winning actors and actresses and, local movies, television commecials and radio as well as countless live performances with South Africas top professionals. John Boorman , film Director when asked about my son was quoted : "he is a fine young actor" and never has he worked with such a professional child. For that we thank Peoples Theatre for showing him this profession and hence I am so angry about your attack on these fine people - i never once had any problems leaving my child with them for rehearsals or performances. The front of house person is a professional teacher and these people are certainly able to bring out the best in almost any child and i have seen this not only with my son but with many other children who have been involved with this company. I salute them for the work they have done- not only for the excellent standard of their shows, the joy they have brought to South Africa's learners who have seen their shows but their ability to bring out the best in even the least talented of children.

Clive Simpkins

Thank you Alison and I'm delighted to hear of the positive impact on your son. However, the point that you and other commentators seem to be missing is this: I'm attacking the language, tone and manner of the directors and others in the cast. And the harsh, sarcastic approach used in giving feedback to some kids. I don't care how long this initiative has been running. It's a disconnect in logic to harp on it. I care about what was unacceptable treatment of at least one child. No amount of arguing or praise songs by the friends and imbongis of the directors negates that.

Ian Shore


Your personal credibility as an objective and fair commentator has been severly dented by your blatant one-sided attack on the Peoples Theatre and on Jill and Keith in particular. Your internet site quotes you as providing "Expert strategy, consulting, coaching, change management, presentation, media appearance, speaking and communication skills, emotional intelligence"....well, I wonder how this outburst fits in with all that.

Perhaps this personal vendetta is your way of showing loyalty to a friend - but your lack of professionism as a journalist to first check your facts is astounding.

Perhaps R is not a team player, did not fit in, and maybe, just maybe, was just not good enough.

I hope readers of this blog site see you story for what it really is - an emotional outburst of unsubstatiated garbage.

To all at the Peoples Theatre, keep up the great work!


Clive Simpkins

Hey Ian. You're a fine one to speak of impartiality, wot? 'Personal vendetta?' Grow up for goodness' sake.

Ian Shore

The important difference between you and I is that I do not run a blog site which claims to be impartial and fair.

Just for the record I am the father of 2 of the current Mowglis(brothers)and have been very much involved with the production from the start. All I can say is that you have been grossly misinformed over this whole affair by your family friend.The issue I have with you is that you chose not to research your facts before rushing to print.

Perhaps you should ask her why she was quite happy to leave her son in this production after all the alleged "wrongs" of just about everyone involved in this production. Until he was demoted to being just a monkey that is. Only then did all the moral and other fabricated issues suddenly become so very important to her!I guess disappointment is handled differently by certain people.

One of the first people to comment on this site (Roy) rushed into to support you without evaluating the facts first - however he was big enough to admit his mistake and retract his comments, and yes, even apologise to Jill and Keith.

I wonder if you are capable of the same?


Clive Simpkins

Ian, the difference between you and me is WAY more significant than you imagine. Re impartiality and fairness, I declared my partiality up front. You didn't until I squeezed you.

Regardless of the sycophantic chorus, in case it imperils the 'performance aspirations' of your offspring, you people remain deluded. You DON'T know the mother's real reasons for withdrawing the son from the production - or do you now include 'psychic' among your self-assumed insights?

Finally: Why ever would I apologise for reporting the truth?

Ian Shore

No Clive, there is another important difference between you and me - I was there and have first hand experience of the whole story. On the other hand you listened to the emotional rumblings of one disgruntled mother.... perhaps you are the one with psychic powers to be able to pre-judge based on one side of the story, having never been part of the production in any way.

Here you have the view of another involved parent on the matter, but you choose rather to remain dogmatic - blind to anything other than the original contrived version served up by an emotional disappointed mother.

Here's the fact - I do not have psychic powers - I WAS there. The mother's story(admittedly at the time) told to us by her - was that it was no longer worth the effort & hassle once he was demoted. Plain and simple - I hope that is unambiguous enough for you.

The only truth in your whole report was the use of foul language, which as everyone agrees is not defendable. This has been admitted and apologised for by those responsible.

For the rest, well...I think most readers of this blog site by now will have made up their own minds on this matter.

I urge all open-minded and fair readers of this site to make the effort to see the show. It is an hour and a half of super entertainment with humour, fun and laughter ...delivered with joy by a cast of wonderful actors (who thank goodness have not been affected in the slightest by all this nonsense)!

Clive Simpkins

Ian, your dogged, irrational persistence is interesting. Is that how you get your way in life? You go on and on and on in the hope you'll bludgeon people into accepting (your equally biased) viewpoint? I have never suggested people don't see the show. Now you're exhibiting paranoia. I wrote Roy B after his posting that the kids should not be punished by default. Do you have difficulty with reading comprehension? Maybe we should start exploring your own legendary communication skills in a forum? That might make for interesting discussion. Bit of advice: When you're in a hole, stop digging.

Ian Shore

Believe it or not, my encouragement for the show was not related to you in any way. Just a well deserved punt for the show.

I find it fascinating that you react only to the parts of my mails that you choose to - you consistently avoid addressing the hard issues of fact.

People like you are never wrong.

(Bit of advice: Take your own advice)

Clive Simpkins

Ian, my final word to you is that you are not in possession of what you call 'the facts'. Period. You have a set of impressions fed to you by people who've had the whistle blown on them. The good thing is that kids will in future be treated more respectfully. And that's a cool outcome for all involved. This correspondence (with you) is now closed.

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