Reviewing a performance is not an academic essay but your comments on a specific production.
First and foremost, remember that a review is your voice, and should reflect that. But it’s not about you; it’s about a show. And it’s not for you; it’s about the reader. So write as yourself, about someone else’s art, for the reader.
Does your review contain all the basic information the reader needs to understand your review and assess whether they want to see this play– i.e. have you explained who the characters are etc.? Remember, they haven’t seen the play yet, so are starting from potentially zero information about it. Even if it’s Shakespeare, you can’t assume knowledge on the part of your reader.
A good review is neither simply a report of basic information (i.e. a flyer) nor an intellectual commentary designed to showcase how clever you are / how sophisticated your analysis is. It’s somewhere between the two – a report of the event that tells the reader what they need to know but which also has a layer of commentary that lets them know what you thought and enables them to assess whether they should go.
Never be afraid to criticize. You owe no show a positive review. But a review is also not an excuse to hide behind the anonymity of print. Never write anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Say what you would say to the cast/director/producer etc if you could discuss the show with them.
Think not just about acting and direction, but also about costumes, music, staging etc. There are many things that go into a good/bad production beyond the obvious.
When writing the review please note:
A review need not be exceeds 500-600 words.
All reviews must be written in the present tense
Do not leave gaps in between lines (one gap between paragraphs)
Keep text left aligned
Use only one space between sentences after the full stop
Please make sure the name of the venue is hyperlinked to the relevant theatre‘s website.
Put your by-line at the end of the review
Ask the theatre press office for an image(s) to accompany the review (the production photo must be HD & landscape format)
Running time: 2 hrs 50 mins including interval or Two hours and 50 minutes (including one interval).
Review by Keen Student
15 February 2023
Once your review is live online, please email the link to it to the relevant press officer. Please don’t forget to link to relevant all social media you use. Don’t be shy to promote your review and playstosee.com