Peter MacCallum titles his review “A cruelty that extends to all within earshot” and opens with
First I need to be honest and say that I found Peter Goldsworthy and Richard Mills’s Batavia the vilest thing I have experienced in the theatre.
It’s an appallingly studied invectival tirade masquerading as a brutal-but-fair assessment. One is forced to wonder whether Messrs Goldsworthy and Mills ever tied MacCallum down and popped a ferret in his trousers, such is his spite.
The libretto of Batavia tells a tale of violence and brutal despair that is possibly unmatched even in the world of opera, but is that any excuse to cynically coopt the language of violence in order to produce hyperbole such as this?