“If you have nothing positive to say,” my dear old Dad always says, “don’t say anything.”
That’s not a lesson I’ve really taken to heart over the years, and I currently have several pieces of foaming, spleen-venting real estate around the web. So much for that.
However, in the case of reviewing One Night In Istanbul, it makes things very difficult indeed. I could speak about the singular lack of virtually anything that was funny about it; the sheer ineptitude of it as a piece of theatre and the predictable, numbing lack of ambition to it all.
The fact that Darren Farley, a very amusing impressionist, does virtually no impressions; the awful music; the checklist of references; the wasting of a talented cast; the chip-on-shoulder mentality revealed by the writing in the programme.
However, I’m going to leave it there. I could dissect One Night In Istanbul and prevaricate at length about the social, cultural and political implications of the rise of such ‘scouseploitation’ in Liverpool. But I don’t think there’s much point.
‘It is what it is,’ is probably the kindest thing I can say about Nicky Allt’s latest romp, although there’s no small feat in rounding up a cast and crew largely devoid of experience, staging a multi-run production and selling a reputed 25,000 tickets.
I’m also aware of the kind of shitstorm that such opinions attract, having read Marc Waddington’s piece in the the Echo.
I expect that someone will be along shortly to suggest that I couldn’t possibly find it funny as I’m not from Liverpool, or that I should lighten up a bit, or I should take my Dad’s advice.
All of which is something of a red herring, because the bottom line is One Night In Istanbul is an extremely basic piece of work. And that’s nothing to do with my postcode, my sense of humour, my footie shirt or my birth certificate.