Wah, power leh., if this is truly what happened. Watch 10 minutes of a musical can write review. I also want this super power.
From Yahoo Group artscommunity, written by hanseltansw:
Reviewing the Straits Times Reviewers On the 20th of August 2008, a certain film reviewer Mr John Lui from the Straits Times sat through the opening run of W!LD RICE's "Own Time Own Target", a triple bill of army plays written by Laremy Lee and Julian Wong. A few days later, a review appeared in the Life! section of the Straits Times in which he described Wong's "Botak Boys" as the "most throwaway script of the lot", claiming that:
"it is clear by this stage of the evening's entertainment that the barrel of stock army characters and situations has been tapped dry and the musical form is a means of recycling."
In addition to the rather scathing evaluation of Wong's musical, Mr Lui also made the error that "Botak Boys" was essentially a "romantic musical about the loneliness of a boy kept far away from his girl". If Mr Lui had been a little more scrupulous about getting his facts right, he would have been obviously aware that the protagonist of the musical had been pining for his boyfriend, while simultaneously struggling with masked mechanisms of homophobia.
When the Straits Times was queried about these inconsistencies, it became clear that Mr Lui had left the show ten minutes into the musical. In other words, Mr Lui had watched no more than a fifth of the musical, of which he felt he had acquired the jornalistic pedestal to unleash such an unfair, inaccurate and misinformed judgment on Julian Wong's piece. If this is the modus operandi of Straits Times' Life! section reviewers, I shudder to think how many shows they have laid judgment on without sitting through the entire night. If this is Life!'s idea of journalistic impartiality and integrity, then I have reason enough to doubt the professionalism, accuracy and respectability of the Straits Times as a newspaper that proffers both exhaustive, incisive public reflection and opinion.
The following day, the Straits Times offered a retraction NOT in the Life! section where the article was first published, but in a tiny column-paragraph (entitled "what it should have been") on page 4 of the main section stating that the review was "incomplete" because the reviewer had "left before the end of the show". The retraction sought to correct the error that the protagonist was pining for his girlfriend, which, as the correction pointed out, was "pining for his boyfriend". The retraction made apology for the factual errors, but made no apology to Mr Julian Wong for a review that was clearly pathetically marginally informed and evaluated with such heavy-handed ignorance. If Mr Lui fathoms that he can excavate the essence of a musical by sampling ten minutes of the show, I wonder if he writes his film reviews by simply fast-forwarding the supplied material to jucier bits.
The Straits Times has made no apology for the ignorance, failure and shortcomings of Mr John Lui as an irresponsible reviewer. Furthermore, its retraction has proven less than adequate, lacking in proper detail in explaining the insufficiency of Life!'s review. Instead, it offers the impression that Mr Lui's article was accurate although "incomplete", without revealing the shameful fact that Mr Lui had missed nearly four fifths of the entire musical. I am thoroughly displeased with the handling of this situation, and should Mr Lui continue to depend on the backing of the Straits Times as an institution to cover up his inadequacy and complacency as a reviewer, then I suggest that the Straits Times should seriously consider refraining from providing ANY theatre review whatsoever until they reinterrogate the principles of journalistic integrity with which their reputation rests - both to theatre companies, artists and the public who demands no less than invested reporting as a bare minimum.