Sunday, September 03, 2006


Germaine Greer's bilious article about Stratford in a recent Guardian is good example of bad journalism. Many of her statements are wrong or misleading, and give a distorted picture of one of the most charming small towns in England.

She is woefully ignorant about the RSC, appearing to think that charitable status exempts us from publishing annual accounts. Utter nonsense. She professes to be amazed that the RSC has charitable status, presumably unaware of the importance of public and private subsidy in reduced-price tickets for young audiences, for educational projects, extended rehearsal and training for actors, and the ability to put on less well known plays.

She is utterly unfair to the Birthplace Trust, who do a marvellous job in balancing the needs of modern tourism with the historic integrity of the 6 sites they own and manage. Their gardens are lovely, their furniture good, their exhibitions imaginative. She seems to have missed Hall's Croft, Nash's House, Shakespeare's Birthplace, Mary Arden's House and Harvard House altogether. She got the admission charge for Anne Hathaway's Cottage wrong. She didn't have time for Holy Trinity or the Guild Chapel. And didn't notice the eclectic and largely unspoilt mixture of architectural styles that makes most of Stratford delightful.

She did get one thing right. Stratford could do with a good boutique hotel. But as a basis for writing off a town, that's hardly enough.

Perhaps she should get about less?


Post a Comment

<< Home