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Paper Monitor

13:10 UK time, Monday, 4 April 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Befuddled, muddled, rambling and a trainwreck. No, it's not the start of the Britain's Got Talent (BGT) audititons, they're just a few words used to describe the opening night of the stage show of Hollywood hellraiser Charlie Sheen.

The Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is not An Option tour kicked off in Detroit last night and is reviewed in most of the newspapers today. If you want a gauge of just how bad it was, the BGT auditions - which also kicked off this weekend - look like a sleek, multi-million pound West End production in comparison. And that's even with a judging panel including David Hasselhoff and hopefuls including an opera-singing dog.

As the Guardian's Hadley Freeman points out, the latter statement in the show's title turned out to be a tad over-optimistic. The confused, rambling actor left the stage utterly defeated after less than an hour, when the fed-up crowd began to chant "refund, refund" en masse.

"I thought he'd be funnier," one disappointed audience member said afterwards. He wasn't alone, they all complained Sheen had barely raised a smile from them. But as Ms Freeman points out, the actor didn't write the scripts for his hugely successful show Two and a Half Men, someone else wrote those jokes for him.

The Sun, Mirror and Star highlight the one thing that did get a cheer on the night, when Sheen's girlfriends - or "goddesses" as he likes to call them - kissed on stage, but it's highly unlikely to win him a Tony Award any time soon.

The Times sticks with the traditional format of awarding stars for the stage show. In Sheen's case, that's no stars. Absolutely zilch. Its reviewer Rhys Blakely is honest enough to admit it was foolish to have hoped for anything entertaining and hits the nail of the head when it comes to why this is:

Yes, Sheen possesses a genius for diatribe, a gift for frenzied verbal invention that peaks, in a profane sort of way, when he hits attack mode. And no he doesn't seem to give a damn. But when you're locked in a room with him for over an hour, he gets very boring very quickly. It turns out that his rants don't translate from a 30-second YouTube or 140-character tweets.

It seems the only moment of clarity for Sheen - and probably the audience - came when he dealt with a heckler. "I've already got your money dude," he shouted back at him. At $60 (£37) a pop for a ticket and every one of the 4,500 seats in the Detroit theatre sold, the actor has actually pocketed a lot of money from a lot of dudes. So who is the bigger fool - the star on self-destruct or the people paying to see him?

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