A Template for a FringeReview Review

You log in and fill out an “Add a play” form as a reviewer.

FringeReview reviews should aim for about 400-500 words and be based  on 4  sections main review section of the form.

There are three elements to a review you should fill in when you fill out the standard review form:

Subtitle (some of our reviewers keep forgetting this little box!). The subtitle is a one-liner that summarises the show’s most positive element. For example:

“An impressive debut that grips from start to finish.”
“Powerful physical theatre, with a very strong script.”
“An intense dialogue that doesn’t always maintain its focus.”

Second is the Lowdown. This should be a short paragraph – 75 word maximum – that summarises the show and also gives a clear overview indication of the reviewer’s assessment of it in a sentence, a bit like the subtitle. Performing companies may well use the Lowdown as an extract on their posters and publicity.

Finally, there is a Review with the suggested four paragraphs:

Paragraph 1 is a factual description of the show itself.
Paragraph 2 is an assessment of:
– the writing
– the performances
– the staging and design
– the production values
– the contribution of the show to the genre
– the extent to which the production succeeds overall

This may run to several paragraphs of course!

In each of these elements, there should be objective comments on areas for improvement, strengths to build on. Outstanding elements and excellence shoud be celebrated.

Paragraph 3 is the reviewer’s personal response to the show and, where possible, a description of the impact on the audience present at that show

Paragraph 4 draws all of this together in a summary, arriving logically at the chosen rating. Please not that from August 2013, FringeReview has replaced star ratings with:

RECOMMENDED (roughly the old 3 star)

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (the old 4 star)

OUTSTANDING (the old 5 star)

This is a minimal template. It is perfectly alright for a reviewer to use their own personal writing style and not follow this template slavishly as long as the personal does not dominate to the extent that objectivity is lost. The Reviews Policy of FringeReview is very clear on the objective assessment and star rating. But individual writing flair can dance across the page and still cover the bases of our reviews policy.

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