How I Review…

As stated abundantly elsewhere on my blog, I provide analytical reviews, not creative ones. This means that I focus purely on the efficacy of performances as opposed to the intrigue of plots and narratives. I consider the performers, mode, style, plot, set, lighting, props and, above all, the performance's aims.

When writing my reviews, I try to keep in mind a few 'special' scenes, moments which really summarise the overall performance — or, in cases, moments which worked despite the performance i.e. that were effective and superior to the rest of the action. On special occasions, I take into account the opinions of other audience members. This is either by asking them for their opinions directly or by observing/listening to their responses. I note, however, that sometimes responses are easy to misinterpret, and so I provide in my reviews only responses that are clear and conspicuous.

Before watching a performance, I try to keep my knowledge of it limited. That is, I research into it minimally. This is because I feel the performance should speak for itself in the present moment. Theatre is a live form, and whilst criticisms and synopses can be beneficial and helpful — particularly with the more esoteric performances theatre can often provide — I feel that it is this important and quintessential state of live-ness which shines through the most.

When watching a piece of theatre, I do not let any negative feelings overwhelm me. That is to say, if I find one moment or scene to be an absolute drab, this does not affect my interpretation whatsoever of the action to follow — however long, tiresome or agonising it may be. I also try to detach myself from my own expectations and theatrical training, to observe the performance freshly and as though the average spectator. Although, this is not to say that I would ignore diplomatic or classical poignancy when presented with it.

I am not limited in my reaction to theatre performances by any favouritsation of a particular genre or style of theatre. I feel that theatre, as an art form, can speak in many different ways to many different people. I ingeminate, however, that it is the efficacy of the performance I am interested in; how well it met its aims, whether they be to entertain, to provoke, scare, encourage, or discuss.

Though I admire greatly any readers – and value highly and encourage others' opinions – my reviews, as outlined on my Homepage, are for my own personal benefit and use in developing my own craft as a maker and practitioner of theatrical art. I am therefore incredibly grateful for anyone requesting a review.

Thank you.


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