No Longer The Grim Reaper

Terry Grimley, who has spent 36 years writing on the arts for The Birmingham Post, has finally left the paper. Our relationship with him has gone through three phases:

Phase 1: He hated us, which made us less than keen on him.
Phase 2: We ignored each other.
Phase 3: He loved us, which made us like him a lot more.

I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect, but only a little.

We had a bit of a run in around 1994 and MAC’s marketing department suggested that taking him out for lunch would, if not bribe him, at least give us a chance to persuade him that we knew what we were doing in our new show. As it turned out Terry was excellent company, a cheap date and incorruptible. He gave Voodoo City a dreadful review and the sub-editor had a high old time with the headline Voodoo Casts Spell Of Boredom.

Now dubbed The Grim Reaper within the Stan office, Terry, in the interests of is psychic health, avoided Stan’s Cafe productions of a decade or so.

By 2006 it was starting to get very difficult to be the Arts Editor of The Birmingham Post and ignore Stan’s Cafe. Terry therefore came to see Home of the Wriggler and to our mutual surprise he liked the show and gave it a great review.

The following year his review of The Cleansing of Constance Brown started with an admission that ran something like – I used not to get Stan’s Cafe but now I think they are brilliant. At this point we were totally won over. Terry could easily have said – Stan’s Cafe were rubbish but now they’re brilliant. His, seemed a very generous approach to such a volt face.

Since then there’s been no more Grimley Fiendish just Terry is all gold as he has penned a series of great articles and reviews culminating in last week’s post. He remains excellent company, in part because he has such an amazing wealth of experience and knowledge to draw upon. It is our plan to turn the tables and interview the interviewer on this site as soon as we can think of some questions he hasn’t already answered in his valedictory feature (which continueshere).

Even five years ago I couldn’t have imagined writing the following sentence with such sincerity. We wish Terry Grimley well in all his future ventures and hope that Birmingham Post’s Arts Coverage doesn’t go totally down the tube without him.


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