Pure theatre

January 11, 2002

Anyone lucky enough to receive the new book by the founder and chief executive of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts for Christmas might wish to take a look at its reviews on the internet bookstore Amazon.

Mark Featherstone-Witty's book Optimistic Even Then provides a horse's mouth account of how the Liverpool "Fame" school came to exist, with financial help from Sir Paul McCartney and a star-studded list of musicians and actors. But it seems that some readers, familiar with the extensive coverage of accountability and management shortcomings at the institute in The THES 's Whistleblower column, have been less than impressed with the luvvies' tales of blood, sweat and tears.

"The sound and tone of the grammatically challenged synopsis should have sounded the alarm bells, as should the fact that the author turns out to be the publisher," one reviewer writes.

Another states: "You're much better off getting an objective view. You'll get a true picture by logging on to The Times Higher Education Supplement website, where they have a good archive of material on the LIPA."

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