Our Standards

Review Standards

All of our reviewers have agreed to abide by these standards.

Our standards ensure our reviewing is of consistent high quality. Reviewing has a social responsibility. We review on behalf of the potential audience for a show.

This potential audience includes:

– the public audience
– the practioners of theatre – the “profession” – potential funders, peers, commentators, producers and promoters

We set high standards. For the company who allows us entry to review their show:

– a well-written review that is consistent with our review guidelines and policy
– reviews posted a quickly as possible within 24-48 hours of seeing a show
– the offer of feedback to shows not achieving the 3 star threshold for a public review

For our audience:

– carefully selected previews of shows posted well in advance of performance dates
– objective reviews that help a potential audience member decide which shows to see
– reviews that are consistent with our guidelines and policy

Reviewers provide their subjective reaction to a show, but this never dominates the review. Reviewers never star a show based on personal taste or preference. Shows are starred based on an assessment of the theatre:

– the writing
– the acting
– the directing
– the production values
– the design and staging
– the dramaturgy
– the originality and outstanding essence of the show

This is the heart of the review. So our reviewers are experienced in one or more of:

– theatre directing experience
– writing for the stage
– production and show development
– dramaturgy experience
– writing about theatre and the arts
– working in theatre arts funding and administration where there was hands-on access to performance elements (e.g assessing a show for funding or development)
– theatre and performance arts journalism

Reviews draw on this experience more than on an immediate personal reaction to a show.

It is technically quite feasible for a reviewer to personally dislike a show (“Not my thing”), but nevertheless to give it 5 stars, recognising objectively its quality as an outstanding example of its kind.

Conflict of Interest Standards

Our reviewers are expected to declare a conflict of interest with any show and NOT review it if:

– they have a current or recent social connection with one of the cast or production team or writer of the show that they believe might compromise the objectivity of their review

– they are in any way related by family to one of the cast, production team or writer of the show

– they have a current or recent professional and/or commercial connection with one of the cast or production team or writer of the show (this includes having recently applied to work with that production or company)

– they are in a show which competes or clashes in any way with the show under consideration for review (we prefer that they don’t review in the same venue they are performing in)

– they are in any way hopeful of gaining work with the company or show under consideration for review (Of course this may change in the future but should not be an influence in any way at the time)

– they have any other connection with the show which might in anyway influence or compromise their attempt at objectivity

-they are in a different production of the same show (same writer) writer)

– they are in a show in the same venue or managed by the same company

– they are in a show competing in any way for resources with the company under consideration for review

The reviewer should also declare a conflict of interest if any conflict of interest arising between seeing the show and the writing of the review. In this case, another reviewer should be sent to re-review the show.

The reviewer should keep their review confidential both in written and verbal form until the moment of publishing it, and should not engage in after-show discussion with any members of the production company, colleagues or associates. Discretion is vitally important.


In 6 years of FringeReview we’ve had only a handful of issues arise around conflict of interest, but we don’t want any to arise. Please contact us if you feel a reviewer has abused their role as a reviewer in any way. We take it very seriously.

It is particularly difficult in our home town to manage conflict of interest as a lot of people know a lot of other people superficially. We’ve recruited more reviewers for Brighton in recent years who aren’t active artistically in the town. For example, two of our newer reviewers work mostly in London or out of the county of Sussex. However, our standards apply in ALL regions in which we operate. We expect our reviewers to be self-disciplined and totally ethical. If in doubt, they seek advice from the editorial team.

Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint of any kind about a review, reviewer or any of the content on FringeReview please write to the editor at paul@fringereview.co.uk

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 48 hours and normally dealt within 7 working days (unless a lot of investigation is needed). All complaints will be treated with the strictest confidence.