Critics And Actors Engage In Debate About DOGFIGHT

A new critical war has broken out over Pasek and Paul's Dogfight, currently receiving its European premiere at the Southwark Playhouse.

The story of a group of young marines making a bet as to who can get a date with the ugliest girl has been denounced as misogynist by some observers (most notably some of the female theatre critics of Fleet Street).

Paul Taylor of the Independent hit back by praising it for its "extraordinary depth, charm, humour and pain"; and cast member Rebecca Trehearn defended the piece by suggesting that there was a kneejerk rush to "nequivocally condemn any and all bad male behaviour, without necessarily taking the time to try to contextualise and understand it", stressing that this kind of situation actually happened, and asked rhetorically, "Shouldn't theatre, any art in fact, shine a light on the bad as well as the good?"

Mark Shenton of The Stage wrote about the spat, not commenting on the charges of misogyny, but emphasing the piece's dramatic and musical quality: "Certainly there's an interesting debate here and perhaps some have proved blind to what the show is trying to show."

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