The Public response ....
Several letters were written to The Stage newpaper attacking the critcs and the Stage cartoonist Harry Venning for one of his Snark cartoons.
Punters pan critics
Sir - So its happened - the snark was a boojum after all and the show has softly vanished away, hunted to extinction in just seven weeks. The press critics are solely to blame for its demise; they have it's blood on their hands and I hope they are proud of themselves. In a world already full of too much misery this tale of the voyage of life, of hope, love, faith, humour and understanding bound together with Mike Batt's brilliant music and visual concepts, has been snuffed from existance. Tragically this was Mike Batt's boojum. I feel sorry for the man who found such inspiration from Lewis Caroll's poem. For so much work and expense to come to grief is terrible indeed. I understand that on its last night the audience gave the show a standing ovation. There were flowers thrown on stage and numerous curtain calls. Was this, I ask, a show the public reveiled ? No this production could have been a huge success. I am sure the critics will justify themselves but in anticipation I would say that it isnt just the public who read the critiques it is also the bakers and when they panic (in the way backers .... and bankers do) this leaves the producer no means to advertise his wares. Even poor Mike's attempts to relay his predicament to the audience were sneered at. Nobody wanted to know a "loser" and despite the valient efforts of Pebble Mill and a late night appearance on Children in Need the show was effectively doomed. It was far too expensive to run without cash in hand and word of mouth had no chance of working:time was of the essence. The show needsed time,money and mostly support from those who should know better. To the cast and orchestra of this show, which I saw three times, I would like to say thank you to some of the best performances I have seen by a cast whose true talent and professionaliam couldn't be faulted. Unlike Ms Paton of the Express I feel sorry for those who never had the chance to pay to see the show for it is truly their loss.
Sir- The unthinkable has happened. The west end has lost its finest show, and I hope the critics are now satisfied for it is they who have destroyed The Hunting of the Snark. Not all of them, admittedly, but the majority. In a recession, the irregular theatregoer will pay more attention to the critics - after all who is going to pay good money for a show they might not enjoy ? This would not have been the case for the snark. I would defy anyone not to fall in love with Mike Batt's music and imagination design. The cast was the strongest I have ever seen on the west end stage -especially Philip Quast, David Firth, David McCallum and of course Kenny Everett. In Veronica Hart I feel we have a future leading lady. I truly hope we have not seen the last of the Snark. and that Mike Batt can somehow continue to ressurrect the show. We can ill afford to lose such a marvellous show. Well done to everyone concerned, for a job well done !
Back to Snark