I must confess that former Mail theatre critic Michael Coveney is an excellent blogger - do catch his Whatsonstage site when you're quite exhausted with me, I won't be bitter. Unlike about 98% of journalists he intuitively understands that a blog requires both news of a sort and signs of actual visceral temperament: your average journo has learnt to arrange words in a stately way for his or her overbearing editor (often confused for the mass audience) but somehow leaves one thinking that he or she is talking over one's shoulder (as is invariably the case should you encounter them at parties).
Only in one respect does Coveney - who has failed to date to confirm or deny my earlier story about the Curious Case of his Missing Lloyd Webber Book Chapter - let himself down: he appears to have a problem with sexual aberration. Recently he accused AA Gill of walking and talking like a "homosexual male model" (when as I said most male models walk like John Wayne for runway purposes). Now, in his current posting, he describes the Evening Standard's art critic Brian Sewell as "epicene".
Now, the matter here is not that Sewell may not be epicene (a dowager with testicles, more accurately). My concern is that he feels the need to draw our attention to the non-issues of Sewell's gender (male, plainly), sexual orientation (homo, plainly) and - what I call - psychic impression (a dowager with testicles, I suggest). The contemporaneity of the walking talking homosexual male model and the epicene Sewell in Coveney's blog leads me to suspect that he perhaps is making the mistake of comparing both Gill and Sewell to his theatre PR wife Sue Hyman whose masculine severity is a thing of wonder; and this may account for her husband's preoccupation with those who fall short of their catalogue-assigned gender energies.
It seems odd to me that anyone with such a preoccupation would be drawn to the theatre, even if only as a critic. As my late friend Truman Capote was wont to say, most English male actors of any quality are gay - and many of the female are camp. Put another way, I can't imagine why a vegetarian might want to work in an abattoir. A person's inner drives and prejudices maybe discerned by their reflexive insults and humour: I fear Coveney is revealing a little too much of his inner life, or nightmares.
Otherwise I commend his blog and shall be be scrutinising it with even greater care from now on.