Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Friends of Levitt come out to support 'Making Allowances' - and bend the truth

It's a been a little while now since Tom Levitt performed his one-man play 'Making Allowances', and it's true to say that it wasn't exactly a huge success in terms of garnering widespread attention. Whilst the BBC certainly seemed to over-indulge Levitt, what with several slots on Radio 4, plus the Politics Show piece, it was somehow fitting that the only real mainstream reaction came from the Sunday Telegraph, which can be read here.

The review is largely sympathetic, but does suggest the audience should perhaps be throwing eggs, or that he should turn it into panto ("Jack and the Beancounters").

To find reviews elsewhere, you really do have to scrape the bottom of the internet's barrel. With less than 140 characters, one finds a tweet by Martin Rosenbaum, a producer of political documentaries, who considered the play "a bit unpolished but thoughtful, amusing, well-performed, nice twist at end" (not having seen the play, we're imagining that the 'twist' doesn't involve a contrite Levitt seeking redemption via suicide).

We also have a long review by a self-declared "old friend" of Levitt, one Wiktor Moszczynski, whose blog declares that Levitt was "innocent" of the allegations levelled at him by both "reactionary and plebian (sic) accusers". We're proud to be plebs Wiktor! But perhaps you should have read this blog first? Wiktor's blog goes on to defend the vile un-seated former immigration minister, Phil Woolas, so it's clear where he's coming from.

Even worse is the comment left on the blog by a Linda Lewis, who we are reliably informed is an old friend of Levitt. She spends a large amount of time performing an Orwellian whitewash regarding Levitt's mortgage claims, suggesting the civil servants had got it wrong, and that Levitt was in the clear. Yet we all know that Levitt over-claimed for his mortgage, something he has not denied. Lewis goes on to suggest that ordinary people get treated with sympathy for fraud, and that such as Levitt got a harder time because he was an MP. Only someone who calls themselves a friend of this man could believe such nonsense.

But there we are - one hopes these rather limited reactions spell the end of the whole matter, although Levitt and his producer, Chris Mellor, are threatening to take the play on a nationwide tour. We'll be waiting if he decides to perform in the High Peak.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Levitt appears on the BBC's 'Politics Show' promoting 'Making Allowances'

You can see the recording of Tom Levitt appearing on the BBC's Politics Show, which was broadcast yesterday, above. In short order, we'll be back with some comments, as well as one or two reviews of the show we've stumbled across.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Levitt appears on Radio 4's 'PM' to promote 'Making Allowance'

Tom Levitt appeared again on Radio 4 yesterday, on their popular 'PM' evening news programme, picking up free promotion for his play 'Making Allowance'. The reporter, Becky Milligan, had blogged about her encounter with Levitt at a rehearsal prior to the audio version appearing on the show last night.

We'd be interested to know if any of our sources out there know who the character of Kevin in the play is based upon - seemingly a local Labour Party activist who confronted Levitt about his expenses. The Labour Chief Whip at the time of the expenses scandal was Nick Brown, someone who certainly bears no resemblance to the character Levitt portrays here, but is perhaps modelled on someone else.

Of future interest should be the producer of the play, a certain Chris Mellor. In last week's Advertiser and Glossop Chronicle (neither article is online), he revealed he was a former Glossop resident. His current job is Senior Arts Development Officer at Camden Council. We wonder how Camden residents would feel that the Council is putting their council tax into supporting Levitt's extreme act of vanity?

As usual, an mp3 recording of the programme segment and a full transcript can be read after the 'read more' link.