The FringeReview Quick Guide to Writing a Terrible Review


Here are some tips for terrible review writing…

1. Do not provide clear, factual information about the show (ideally copy from the programme)

2. Write lots of clever sentences that exhibit your wit but say little objectively about the show you have seen

3. Do not review the show from a theatre-viewpoint; say nothing about the quality of writing, the staging, performance, dramatic impact, direction, flow of the piece

4. Let your own personal subjective reaction be the main driver of your final star rating; demonstrate if you can that you don’t know how to distinguish between personal taste and an attempt at objective assessment of theatre based on the skill and ability employed by the performing company

5. Make sexist or other bigoted remarks in the review

6. Do not spell or grammar check your review (and use pretentious jargon and acronyms – also name drop shamelessly)

7. Allow your personal distaste for the particular style to dominate your assessment; blame the show for the genre it sits in

8. Write in a haughty, high and mighty way, as if you are THE expert on theatre at the Fringe

9. Attack the show and its creators and performers, rather than constructively offer suggestions for improving it

10. Do not say how a three star or four star show could become a five star show, and do not justify why a five star show is truly outstanding

One Response to The FringeReview Quick Guide to Writing a Terrible Review

  1. I really like this article because it’s so true, and because I’ve made similar statements myself. Too many critics don’t know what they’re doing; don’t know what they’re looking at. That’s why at AALM we call ourselves reviewers, not critics.

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