Writing A Negative Review
Writing a negative review can be hard – where is the balance between being constructive and just being mean spirited?
Whilst we believe in being constructive and honest in our reviews, overly negative or just plain mean is not on brand for us. What does this mean? It means that when we go to shows that we don’t like, we still try to compliment something that they have successfully achieved, even if that is just actually getting work on stage! Many of you, like us, work in this industry too and we know how much time, effort and resources go into making theatre so getting a show on stage and people in the audience is already an achievement.
Being honest to our readers is really important – they trust our opinions. We therefore like to be constructive and say why something didn’t work, not just that it was bad. And if we can, we like to even hypothesize on things that would have made it better. Sometimes that may just come down to ‘with more time to develop this work, I think it would have greater potential for success’ or ‘the set didn’t support the show or act as a vehicle at all for the actors to interact with. With greater dynamics on stage, the actors would have had a much better backbone for achievement in this production.’ These are just two examples.
Have a look at some of these as examples of reviews that are either mixed or a bit negative. You’ll notice that sometimes we like the show but have something negative to say about a particular aspect of the show – directing, lighting, set, cast, accents, etc – have a look at the examples below for some ideas:
https://www.theatretravels.org/post/review-wink-at-kxt - Note parts on Director and lack of understanding of script
https://www.theatretravels.org/post/review-noli-me-tangere-at-riverside – Note parts on preparation and script
https://www.theatretravels.org/post/review-three-weeks-in-spring-at-the-state-theatre - Note parts on women and venue
https://www.theatretravels.org/post/review-cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-at-roslyn-packer-theatre – Note parts on lacklustre performances
https://www.theatretravels.org/post/review-kokoda-at-the-star-theatres – Note parts on solo performer
https://www.theatretravels.org/post/review-table-at-the-seymour-centre – Note parts on accent
There are plenty more examples but have a look at these and contact us with any questions or for more examples!