1PM Tuesday 12 November 2013 Nunhead Heights

John Fleming, the comedy blogger, sent me an interesting link this morning.

The Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish stormed out of Stewart Lee’s new show ‘Much A-Stew About Nothing’ at the Leicester Square Theatre (where I play Sundays in ‘Lewis Schaffer: American in London).

How could you walk out on Stewart Lee?

No matter how poorly you thought it was going, no matter how horrific Stewart was being, wouldn’t you want to see how it turned out?

Isn’t it Dominic Cavendish’s job, as a critic and/or reviewer, to report what happens at the show? How could he do that if he walked out halfway?

Maybe Stewart Lee wasn’t having a bad gig?

Maybe it was one big wind up? Maybe it was Stewart Lee’s way of getting motivated for the second half or having the first half as a set up for the second half? Maybe it was just a blip? Maybe he wanted the Telegraph to leave and Dominic took the bait? (Maybe I should stop making statements in the form of questions?)

We will never know.

We will never know because Dominic (and I call him Dominic even though I’ve met him only once and he has never reviewed any of my shows) had a hissy-fit and walked out and wrote about it in The Telegraph.

I took Dominic’s walkout to heart.

Most of my really bad reviews come from people who have walked out halfway – and almost all of my best reviews come from people who stayed to the end of shows where people who have walked out. You can read them here on Time Out.

I can understand how my audience could walk out of my shows, especially at my Free until Famous shows at the Source Below – Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Soho.

I am not famous. They don’t know me. They haven’t heard of me. They don’t know what I do. They can be excused for thinking that the second half will be as dire, shambolic, or awkward as the first and do a runner.

But Stewart Lee?

How can you walk out of Stewart Lee’s show?

His shows are like Christmas dinners. The turkey may be overcooked but you stay til the pudding has been eaten. And it is the company you go for.

See the video of me at the Bloomsbury Theatre – 7 minutes – with a bit of Stewart Lee. Remember, it is a video and only slightly captures our comedy essences.

Other links about me:
Read how my comedy changes lives

2 thoughts on “How can a comedy critic walk out of a comedy show and then review it?

  1. Did you read this post on the review by a man called Paul

    “Dominic, Oh Dominic. I was there at that show Friday. And it puzzles me, Dominic , that in this review you don’t mention why you really ran from the theatre. I hope you don’t mind if I fill in a few gaps on WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: Stewart Lee saw you in the audience and decided to make you suffer (a little) for some perceived plagiarism you perpetrated some time ago, where you alledgedly passed off his material as your own in one of your columns (or something …. must say I don’t know anything about this matter, having never heard of you before.) I couldn’t see you in the audience but I presume from the crapstorm of a review above that you maybe didn’t like it very much?

    Why Dominic! Why didn’t you mention any of that????

    Wasn’t that bit about the audience being disappointing just a part of Lee’s act? I’m pretty sure it was. That said, I’d like to go again and find out. And I’ll be glad to go again because Lee was terrifically funny and the material was good … some even great.

    As audiences go, I feel pretty secure in the knowledge we were of course EXCELLENT! OBVIOUSLY. And we got a little bit better as an audience (clearly) … after you left the building.

    I wonder why would the Telegraph send a man like you to review a comedy gig when you clearly don’t know (pretending not to know) when you’re hearing pre-written material.

    I only came on this site to find out what sort of review you might write after your harranguing by Lee. What if found (above) is cowardly and evasive and pissy and most of all vindictive. If you really did plagiarise his work, why don’t you just ring him up and say you’re sorry. And if you don’t think you did, why don’t you prove it? Rather than resorting to this sort of low blow. Which might scare some of the good folk who read the Telegraph (there must be one or two) into missing out on a show they would otherwise REALLY ENJOY.”

  2. Most people who read the Telegraph don’t consider themselves “typical Telegraph readers” anymore than I consider myself your “typical ‘So So Gay Magazine’ reader.

    PS, I don’t think he was accusing Dominic of plagiarism.

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