Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A Quick Note on Star Ratings...

This is the time of year when people actually read critics.

I say read... they look at the star rating and make a judgement. Or, if they are performers, they cut out the stars and put them on their posters.

I haven't seen a one star show in a while, so I don't think I need to talk about that. And five star shows are amazing, so...

It's the two to four star ratings that are worth some thought. I am going to give you a quick guide to how my star rating system works.

Ironically, I don't do stars on the blog. But I do on The List.

Two Stars
Audience Note: This show is not irremediable, but it could do with some fixing up if it is going to have any further life. There is usually a weakness in one of the key areas of performance (direction, script, the acting overall) that make the experience dull.
Performer Note: A good writer, like Mad Cyril, will make it clear where the problem is - but critics don't suggest solutions. If I give you a two star review, then I can recommend a dramaturg, or might even do a 'dramaturg writes' column for you. But my reviews will not offer the answer... that has to come from a dialogue with the company.

Three Stars
Audience Note: If the subject or genre or anything else interests you, this is worth a punt. It probably
won't cover any surprising ground, might lack dramatic tension, but the acting is strong, the director thought about the theatrical impact, and the script/devising process stands up.

Performer Note: I know you won't be putting this on the poster, but have a look at the review underneath. There will be words that praise aspects of the performance. Usually, a dramaturg could help out, get the show up a level.

Four Stars
Everyone likes these. But remember - these are more common in the Fringe than gay men in Craig Hill's audience. If you don't back it up with a quote, no-one cares.

Next Up: A Quick Note on Liveness. Or something about works in progress.

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