It’s probably not terribly wise to criticise other critics. Especially in places where they could see it. Particularly not when they could comfortably pay your salary roughly five or six times over, and have a reputation and career that pisses over one’s own from a spectacular height.
That said, I am gobsmacked by this double review by M B at the Grauniad. As I have noted before, his current phase of Shaw-adoration is particularly rampant at the moment. Even so, this division of attention seems preposterous in the extreme.
Of course, I don’t know the circumstances of the review's production. It could well be that M B filed two beautifully turned pieces and they were mercilessly put to the scissors by an ill-mannered sub. Or it could be that M B had to argue hard for the inclusion of any word on the second production at all. And yes, he’s done a favour for what sounds (from what little one can glean) like a perfectly good production, insofar as they can now boast "vivacious... performed with a gusto... should appeal to adults and children alike."
But, 64 words? Jesus.
Edit: Out of curiosity, I just word-counted the above. It is 195 words long, or 3 x 65...
Edit v2.0: Perhaps I'm being unduly harsh to Michael, Benedict Nightingale doesn't seem to have been able to drum up much more enthusiasm for writing about it here.