I'm referring to the Malay Mail's review of Macbeth by Theatre Babel which was featured in the Buzz section of the paper today. (Sadly, this article doesn't seem to be up on the website, so you will need to go buy a copy or just trust me on this.)
I was pondering the miracle of Sharmila Vella managing to see three witches clad in red on stage in the local production of Theatre Babel's Macbeth when I saw only one, dressed in white. Clearly, she hadn't been in the audience for this production at all. Then I decided to Google some phrases from her article and low and behold, much was lifted from elsewhere:
Striking visuals like a thicket of swords were suspended on wires over the stage. The swords were sometimes lowered to become a treacherous forest or sometimes simply looming threateningly.By some strange coincidence Ian Shuttleworth of the Financial Times wrote in his review of an earlier UK production:
A thicket of swords is suspended on wires over the stage: sometimes they are lowered to become a treacherous forest, sometimes they simply loom threateningly, like the dark fate awaiting almost all concerned.Much more is lifted virtually word for word from this review on the Edinburgh Festival website including
... a thick mist billowing out from the stage into the auditorium, accompanied by a haunting soundtrack that sucked the audience quickly into the strange and heady world of the Thane of Cawdor.and
the almost motionless witches clad entirely in crimson red ...I probably could go further but my heart is in my coffee cup.
This is not reviewing - it's shameless plagarism.
And plagarism, frankly, is theft.
Oh My God!!!!! I am lost for words! Plagiarism!!! In this day and age, sure the internet, google, search , whatever can really be a Godsend, but hey, it can also be a good watchdog!
That's quite shameful :(
On a side note both mum and sis, enjoyed the play. I backed out on them last minute, because I was feeling a bit lazy last Sunday :P
Writers beware! There was another case in The Star sometime back. We have to be vigilant and not take the lazy way out.
Once I was reading a tv piece in the papers when I came across a sentence which sounded like what I'd written for a tv review piece. But I wasn't bothered by it because it was just one sentence which I deem to be "fair use".
Unbelievable! That writer better learn real fast that eagle-eyed readers can quickly sniff out plagiarism anywhere these days.
All hail Google! :D
i think the more important and sickening thing is that she did not even attend the show. it is not fair to the people who put all the effort into the production just for some idiot who couldn't even be bothered to watch the play, to still give a "review".
Sharon, u should write to the editor.
It says, "The Murder of Macbeth". As in... MURDER... murder of a review. All boils down to Macbeth being trecherous. blame him.
Babel bungled it twice. Once, plagiarism, and once again, earning money for writing a review of something she didn't attend, hence couldn't have reviewed.
In universities, students would be given a fail mark, or suspended for some time if they plagiarised in any of their submitted work. Would journalists face disciplinary action from their professional society or their editors? I really don't know.
In Babel's case, I think she could smile for she will probably not be told off. What does that leave us, the lay reading public with? Not much, I suppose.
Really!? The critic was not even there!? Maybe, her ghost took over... Poor thing. History repeats itself. AAAAH
Anisah, If a freelance writer is caught, she can rest assured that the publication's editor will no longer use her work. If it's a staff writer, I suppose she will get a warning. Maybe Visitor can answer this question.
you can get fired. i know a writer who got fired cos he wrote that a film was lousy even before he had seen it.
Wasn't there a case in the States where a journalist was caught for making up his articles without checking the facts or doing any interviews?
The temptation to blind-review is always there but in this case, I found it sad that the writer had an obvous contempt for the subject and her readers.
Glad that you all feel as outraged as I do ... Yes, I have written to the editor, but no reply as yet.
Oh, God, Sharon, just caught up with this on today's stop by your blog. Ghastly! Good for you for catching out this creep!
wow! that's insane! the epitome of malaysian laziness. thanks for bringing this to light.
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