Harrington: Shock news! Quentin didn’t like the show

Friday, 17th June

Legally Blonde

Courtney Bowman starring in Legally Blonde at the Regent’s Park OAT

SORRY to bang on about the production of Legally Blonde at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; just a few weeks back Harrington was celebrating how it had come with a cast as diverse as London.

But since my mutterings on these pages about overhearing a critic on press night bemoaning how “woke” the show is, a lot has happened.

The theatre issued a statement warning that “insensitive” reviewers would not be invited back for future shows and said that it had been “disappointed” by the language of one review.

The author of the review was not named but is widely assumed to be Quentin Letts, who had been there for the Sunday Times and went on to write that the show “has cast fuller-bodied, non-binary actors and turned the whole thing into a relentlessly zingy assertion of minority pride. Fellow fatties of the world, first we take Harvard…”

Mr Letts, 59, who used to be the political sketchwriter for the Daily Mail, went on to bemoan what he called the show’s “devotion to diversity” and said “the stage’s super-structure wobbles under the weight of the company’s loosely choreographed gyrations”.

Needless to say the theatre has received a ton of messages of support and so has the lead actor Courtney Bowman, a fantastic performer of mixed race and who has described herself as plus size.

Others have moaned that not allowing Mr Letts to return would amount to censorship.

Wonderfully impish with his words, his fans might think, but it is possible to be pointed and funny without wearisomely resorting to being a prize bampot.

You may wonder too why the Sunday Times could only find Mr Letts to review a garish disco musical, which perhaps we might all have predicted he wouldn’t like.

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