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Diary: Jubilee is critical Marmite straight from the Jarman

Toyah Willcox in Jubile at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Photo: Johan Persson Toyah Willcox in Jubilee at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Photo: Johan Persson
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It’s pretty rare that a production summons such polar opposite responses than those greeting Chris Goode’s stage adaptation of the cult Derek Jarman film Jubilee.

It opened in Manchester last year to reviews ranging from five to two stars and its sojourn to London for a run at the Lyric Hammersmith seems to have only stirred the pot.

Splitting opinion to positively Marmite-ian proportions, a simple Twitter scroll uncovers everything from declarations of the show’s magnificence to others claiming they barely made it back after the interval.

The most sulphurous was critic Aleks Sierz, who fashioned a review that one member of The Stage staff declared to be among the harshest they had ever set eyes on.

“The best that can be said about Goode’s Jubilee is that it must surely be in the running for the hotly contested accolade of the worst show of the whole decade,” Sierz concludes, after a string of gut-punching shots in which a significant number of all expletives are deployed. At one point he appears to address Goode directly, telling him to “fuck right off”.

Goode himself suggested that a past occasion on which he was “pretty rude” about Sierz’s book might have had something to do with it.

Regardless, Sierz is so unreservedly furious with this piece of theatre that if I was Goode, I’d probably be a little bit proud. Even the show’s producer admitted he planned to frame the review. Tabard wonders which room in his house it will go in.

Read The Stage review of Jubilee

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk