Susan Elkin is an author and theatre critic who writes regularly for The Stage and reviews theatre productions in London and beyond. Here are her 5 top tips for reviewing a play:
1. Write your review as soon as possible after you’ve seen the production! Susan usually writes hers on the train around 30mins after seeing it. It is sometimes also worth waiting a day or so after you’ve written it to go back and edit it if you want.
2. Don’t worry about the language in the play. In the hands of a good director and acting company you’ll understand the story without having to understand every word.
3. Don’t sit and mentally translate the language. Let it wash over you and you will pick up the meaning as you go along, it’s easier to understand if you are relaxed rather than tense and thinking about it too much.
4. Ask yourself what the extra parts of a production add – be it music, set, and in other theatres, lighting. Does it add anything in a positive or negative way? Does it enhance or distract from the story?
5. Keep it short. There is no advantage to writing a very long review of a play. Most of Susan’s reviews are 200 words - or if it is a special production then 250 words. Keeping it short means your review says precisely what you want to say without waffling.
Now download the brief and try writing your own review! Once you are done, email your reviews to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may select it to feature on the site.