Make the most of your love of theatre and raise your profile online by showing yourself how to craft reviews that can be posted on your blog or on one of the many theatre review websites in just over an hour.
This course will let you share your love of theatre and bring out the inner writer inside you easily by pleasantly tapping into a social activity you love.
Cheat Sheets help you write your best ever theatre review and shows you how to gain the right information at every step from scanning websites to showing up to after show talks.
The course contains 6 modules that use 5 minute bullet point lectures with fun activities to get you used to the process of putting together reviews in not much time.
This course follows you every step of the way from booking the ticket to uploading your first theatre review with ideas on how to go viral. This will be the first of many reviews you write and open up a new window of associates and networks.
Being published adds credibility to your work as an author.
With this course it need not be time consuming.
Each module shows you how to skip the things you don’t need to do and get it done quick so you are the first review published.
Discover how writing a review can benefit you, your lifestyle and career in the short video.
If you want to see your name on an article you're pleased with this is for you.
If you want others to congratulate you on your work this is for you.
If you want your ideas to be out there and not just in your head this is for you.
You have a lot to give and this course will help bring out your best.
In short -
Discover brand new shows you've never seem
Receive free theatre tickets and interval drinks
Grow your online following (and build it fast!)
DOWNLOAD the checklist below to help you keep track of the different steps that lie ahead. We will be covering each of these with section by section so you can write in your notes as you go and see the path ahead. This sheet is also offered at the end of the course as a recap to quickly put all the material you have gathered together fast ready to upload.
Find out how putting a review together once means you can easily critique any live event.
The benefits of assembling your reviews means you can create a beautiful blog full of quality up to the minute entertainment reviews in no time at all
Use reviews to create an ebook and find an online audience
Choosing a clear reward that doing this course will bring to you will keep your motivation high. Putting a picture of this on or near your computer screen helps to keep a sharp focus.
The questionnaire can help keep you on track to finish your goal.
Being an Art Critic lets you upgrade your career status, be taken seriously in your field and move forward with building your own tribe whilst creating your own unique material. Know that five steps are key to writing a review in a short time.
This quiz both highlights the basic points of reviewing and emphasizes what concepts you might want to keep in mind for the rest of the course!
For many writers the hardest information to come by are the inside tips and tricks that can help them jump start their writing careers.
This module shows you how to assemble the basics to start right away, producing accurate copy fast.
Just in case you missed the checklist of what steps lie ahead this is also offered here as a resource to fill in as we go.
Finding the right words to connect your work with your audience will help create a loyal readership.
Find ways of listening to what your ideal reader wants from their theatre review using the activity sheet below or the tips in the video.
Note down any words or questions that keep popping up for them.
Know how to find the important information that will lead you to what you reader fears missing out on and use it write smart fast popular reviews that get shared on social media boosting your credibility and visibility
have done - write the bulk of your review for your ideal client - tell the reader you have pictured exactly what they wanted to know about the review - write two sentences answer their questions about what would stop them going to enjoy the show
say who the show is for, how long it is, how it made you feel at the end
Find out how to go where your ideal audience is by finding the website that is the best fit for your work.
The video gives you hints on what to look out for, such as
Or Alternatively you can host on your own website.
How you publish your review is up to you and a more ideas on different ways to do this is shared in the next section.
The two basic options are publish your work on your own website or on a theatre review website.
The number of websites that accept submissions from 'freelance' reviewers is growing fast and listed halfway in the book. Although it is rare to get paid for your review you will be able to treat a friend or colleague to share your rewards of two free tickets (or 'comps'), theatre programmes and the interval drinks that are included sometimes.
Signing up to be on the email list of arts websites is a great way to be in the loop and find the style that suits you. Although this can result in an overflowing inbox it is a useful place to start browsing through different options.
Listening to what people want to know and responding is a great way to create useful copy that serves your reader well.
Take your bag and notes with you so you can set up your review station at a cafe, at a bust stop with wifi or in the theatre foyer or in your theatre seat.
Recap - assemble what you need to motivate and support yourself through this fun process
Looking through the whats on programme using the questions in the video and resource guide below can also help pin point a theme that you can take through your review to make it stand out.
Know who you are writing for from looking at your traffic data
Inspiring your readers to come back and search for your work is a great way to strengthen your tribe.
Providing work that has a value to an audience is the first step to success for any business.
Fill in these prompts to make an opening paragraph your reader finds instantly useful -
This show started its run in …. (city) on .....(date) and the production will open in .... (name of theatre) after it’s run here at (name of theatre).
This performance that made it's debut in ... (country/city) has a running time of ... (hours/minutes) and has .. (number) interval/s.
Now look at the timings of when your review is most useful for your reader. Would you automatically publish them to your site just before the weekend so they can decide what to see? Consistency helps build loyalty and this mean building an Editorial Calendar for yourself so you plan ahead. Use the resource below for a quick way to plan your writing and leverage your work.
Before you even leave the house you can begin your review
Test your knowledge know how on the best way to get to your prize of writing your own reviews fast and gaining the status your best work deserves
Use these easy time hacks to make writing your review later that day faster.
I found 3 rules gave me theatre goers who enjoyed my work!
1. Set your own clear goals for what you want to write so your readers know what to expect from you.
2. You can’t fail to satisfy your true fans and those who are not don’t have to read more if it’s not their bag.
3. Be consistent about what are you cover in your review so readers know what your work offers.
When you have found a show you love take a pad of post it notes and put one thought you had of the show on one page and then re arrange them into the sections they fit in later.
Find the details you need to share with your audience ahead of time by looking in the theatre programme.
It takes seconds to start the review writing before you have even left the house.
Simple questions asked when booking for your show speed the process.
Not all information is readily available on the web so ask the theatre’s sales agent when you reserve your ticket
You can put your review together by asking as you go to gain a wider picture
Call ahead and find out before hand-
The more you can find out ahead of time the easier your task ahead.
Some of these questions just take seconds to ask and you can fit this in whilst booking your ticket or just popping for a coffee at the theatre in a lunch break.
Have your supply of retractable pencils and spiral note books that fit easily in your pocket and you're good to go.
Know how following the timeline of someone else's creative process is a story in itself.
If the details are told accurately this makes an useful instant review fast.
Our resources are precious time money and attention end emotion are some things we don’t always get back.
By telling people that the show is worth their attention or giving them enough of the right info they can make that choice is important.
This is why we outline the story of the show.
Nothing worse being sat in the middle of a retelling of a war story when you wanted something cheery!
gutsy detail - post show talk
background exclusive colour
Know how to upload your reviews online by finding out in advance what the website you want to be published on needs you to do.
Look back at the list of your three favourite websites that you can upload your work to and register with them. A list is included in the resources.
Explore the choice of having your review on your own site or on other peoples.
If you would rather your own website - make a page for reviews on your own site or sign up for your own brand new blog site so you can upload your own reviews easily to your own domain.
`An overview of how the information you have so far gathered before seeing the show will fit into the whole scheme of things.
press upload to your chosen websites now we are waiting for your link
Quiz yourself on the many great ways to bring the feeling of performance alive in your review so your readers come back for more time and time again.
Know what to look for when you are watching the performance and what questions to answer during the interval so your review is ready to be published by the time you get home.
You got the structure to your review
To segway between each thought simply introduce the next paragraph with phrases that flow like -
Listening to the type of words your ideal reader uses at the theatre to describe their own experience can give inspiration as to drawing in the right type of audience for your work. For example a Theatre review in the 'New Yorker' uses a different set of vocabulary than a review for a children's pantomime in a local newspaper.
The best advice I have had is when putting a theatre review together make sure it is a useful experience for the reader from start to finish.
Discover tricks to make the reader feel like they are inside the theatre as they read your review so the performance comes alive, even for folk who will not get to see it.We all have viewpoints and each is valid. Use other peoples opinions as inspiration but not a script.
The key is using ideas that are relevant. Organise your thoughts so you can easily put them into a review
TOP TIP - During the show listen out to other theatre goers are saying to validate what is useful to them. Gold dust! What would they like to know from your review?
Listen to their comments and put yourself in the readers place, seeing things from their point of view and what they would like to know.
Getting into your readers head and see the world their way and this will help you hear the words of your review.
This is one of those things that is challenging the first time you do it and then becomes a routine and eventually a breeze! Like a roller coaster the third time is a blast.
Publish and be useful is our goal!
Be open to the things around you that can explain your thoughts in a metaphor.
Was the comedy in the show like a firework display?
Pull your next idea fast from anywhere and make your review visual.
Action - Sit quietly then find something around you that is just like the show in some way.
How to revisit the idea of writing to a timeline during the interval so the review you write at the theatre matches what you have prepared earlier.
This is a useful technique to create continuity on work you have written in two or more sittings.
If you are using this section to give your opinion of the story identify which one of the seven types the show is -
(comedy, tragedy, rebirth, overcoming the monster, rags to riches, quest or voyage and return)
Focussing on one type of story gives continuity to your review.
Tips on feeling and being true to the responses of other people to the work whilst staying true to your own gut instinct. This shows you how to represent two (sometimes opposing) viewpoints in a meaningful way.
When you have a lot of ideas swimming around in your head this can be a cause of celebration as it gives you a lot of material to work with. However some websites look for 100 words or less so use this idea to pick out what will work best for you in your review. Always jot your ideas down first and then pick the ones you want to select using this filter.
Here are some useful pointers to note in the interval -
The notes you take in the interval provide the colour to your review so note where this part of the review writing sits in the scheme of things -
Step 1 we decided our tribe
Step 2 we got the barebone facts and wrote the opening paragraph and a handle on the story
Here is Step 3 that puts the colour into the review and proves we were there
Later is Step 4 where we describe the set and then Step 5 that sees us finish off the piece with our verdict and a quick grammar check to polish the work
Tips on staying true to the long term purpose of writing reviews for you. Be clear on your reason for authoring a piece of work using the insight in this video.
Then be true to your own gut instinct by backing up the tone of your review with your honest opinion.
ACTIVITY - describe in your own words from a live performance or art work (Including fine food!) -
what you appreciated in it =
what you enjoyed =
what you saw potential in =
what was clearly well developed =
what was well rehearsed =
what was well crafted =
what was well honed =
what gave food for thought =
what would bring you back to see it again =
what was worth the price of admission =
what were the softer qualities =
what were the still qualities =
what was in boldy in your face =
what could you not ignore =
what was the one thing that got the biggest reaction =
Test yourself on how you would review an exciting Festival and be more than ready for when the real thing comes to town.
How to structure your review now you have gathered your ideas is a crucial step.
The addition of sharp subjective metaphors can make your reader feel like you know them and build loyalty in your audience. Use these tips to figure out the types of descriptive phrases and adjectives that will serve you best.
Look back over your work to see how much is now complete - tick off what is done• What was it?
• How did it achieve this?
• Describe it like a magic pill – powerful / energizing / refreshing?
• What was the highlight?
• What did you think of it?
• Your verdict in three words? (we're about to dive into this bit)
How to plan the best set of adjectives to make a review come alive from you.
Try to avoid general words like 'good' or 'nice'. Use a thesaurus for different choices and this quick guide below -
Weak adjectives take the strength from your writing. Use the best adjectives possible
Even worse than using weak adjectives in giving your verdict:
the room you are writing in to instantly inspire the middle part of your review that describes the set and lighting of the show.
Action - Use an object or describe a movement that is like the lighting or music of the show.
Chunk - don''t lose momentum reviewing the set - i
Learn how to go with your gut instinct and back this up with fact to deliver a convincing verdict that will be useful to your reader to decide if they want to buy a ticket for this event.
A reason why reviewing and rating something is important is you are seeing the things the audience cannot by being objective. Great costume and set designs do not stand out and are typically not noticed because they are part of the story telling. By taking a check list in and making comments on each story telling element the reader is given things to look out for and appreciate the value of when they eventually ship up and buy a ticket to see the show.
This is a useful writing exercise to pinpoint the transformation in the story you have seen on stage, on film, on a canvas or even on your dinner plate. Most things have a story and this is at the heart of your review.
Tell a story through your review using the characters timelines as examples – bring out a moral, outline a funny situation, paint a worst case scenario and move your reader onto the stage to experience it and see it
Play around with writing about this transformation in a writing exercise to find what works.
When you have decided what this key part of the show is - use it to pick out your punchy headline. Some ideas are in the resource guide below or you can of course go with your own inspiration!
How to get your well crafted review the biggest audience on social media and tips on creating a hot headline to attract new readers.
Use a similar idea to write your killer opening hook to get readers in using these prompts -
For a Punchy title -
Then attract audiences with a bit of sparkle -
Play with the vision of the artistic director
or Figure out the solution given by the play – step into the world of it – then describe the magic of it·
or Paint the central character as a full hero paint out the super powers – inner stoicism
'It's not how you start it's how you finish' is a memorable theatrical song for a great reason.
People always remember the ending.
Reward your reader by leaving your best till last using these tips on finishing strong.
Maximise the results of your review by being clear about what was the magic pill that broughtit home
Ideas on how to write the last paragraph -
Build on the ideas you already have on how you will finish by writing up what sticks in your mind after the show experience has had a few moments to settle using these tips.
Following a structure means your mind doesn’t hold you back and your imagination can be free. That is my experience of using a system.
The blueprint (summarised at the end of this section as a checklist of this course) I created from several late nights writing over 200 reviews will let you know how to write a review to bring you engaged readers fast.
With a few tweaks the system you have followed so far can help you deliver a review on your way home from the event so you get to be the first online and establish yourself quickly in your field of expertise.
How to get ideas on a strong finish from other reviews if you get stuck. The resource also has ideas.
Staying true to your own unique style is crucial to attracting loyal readers. These tips show you how to craft your own individual style of ending.
Find your own way to finish with a quirky comment that sticks in the memory of the reader.
Try these prompts below to spark your own ideas.
How do you feel as you are waiting for your ride home from the theatre?
How would you describe your evening to the person sitting next to you in the bus/train/car?
Was the ending a surprise? If so what kind of surprise?
If the show was a superhero which one would it be?
If the show had a super power what would that be?
How would you describe it using 3 words?
What kind of insect would it be?
What character sticks in your mind?
What would your favourite character's chat up line be?
How did the music make you feel?
Was the story simple or complex and did this keep you on the end of the seat?
What line can you still remember on the way home?
If the show was a sandwich what sort?
What flavour ice-cream does the end remind you of?
If the show was a flavoured Sandwich sauce topping (ranch, french dressing, honey mustard etc) which one would it be?
cat or dog
Everyone has an opinion. Looking at how it is delivered is crucial to a reader taking on board your advice. Use these ideas on how to make your take on a show instantly grabbable for a reader.
Showing the reader how they can use your verdict of a piece of art or performance means the review is instantly valuable to them. These tips show you how to increase the value of your perspective to others.
A memorable ending entertains and engages the reader so they do not forget your work. These ideas give you a range of tools to craft a satisfying ending to your review.
Pick the perfect ending to your review. Polish with a few subedits summarised below and in the resource sheet.
“The actor delivers Hamlet with perfect timing. The historic props reflected his style.”
Close the review with a pun or a quote or an 'aha' moment - use between one to three sentences for this.
Put all the pieces together in the order that tells a story or makes the most sense. The resource sheet can help with this.
Check back on your understanding of ways you can make your reviews even more valuable and grabbable for your reader.
Pinpoint the ways you can make the most of your uploaded review so that the most people benefit from your hard work and talent.
Repurposing your work is great approach and the checklist below outlines more ideas for this so you get the most out of your writing.
Create a video slide show of your new season summaries or historical pieces about local theatres and draw a wider audience to your reviews
Get your latest review in front of more readers
Make audio reviews to connect with podcast audiences
Easy to use apps can make small videos fast that will promote your reviews online
Get a strategy to spread your work all over a theatre festival
FAQ about websites
A great way to stick at something is to follow what you enjoy. Check back on your process of writing a review to maximise the fun of it using these tips.
And don't forget to tap into the benefits of being a reviewer!
Theatre Reviewing ... What's the deal?
There are a number of advantages to writing a theatre review not least what it can do for building your own tribe!
Review writing slowly builds up an audience who rely on you. They do not want to spend their time trawling the net for basic information you easily provide about running times and dates of a show they are interested in.
Readers will want to see the next hot thing you write about. As a reward for your hard work you typically get two free tickets, a programme and interval drinks.
(Remember theatre critics get the best seats in the house!)
The chance to see something for free that you would not normally buy a ticket to is another advantage.
Some of the highlights I have enjoyed as a theatre critic are the best seats at a sold out West End play with an international star that none of my pals could get tickets to see. With opera seats starting at around £100 crafting a review can be more than worth the time it takes in return for two free tickets.
Want more good news?
You do NOT need to become an expert on what you are watching but you do need to do one thing. That is - You need to be authentic. Just be honest and real about what you see. It's that simple.
However... sometimes it has taken me several hours to write a review. Especially when I first started out. Over 200 reviews later and 2 in The Guardian Newspaper (whoop!) I figured out a few short cuts. So this course gives you the blueprint to put your own opinions into a format that creates a good looking, useful and robust theatre review in not much time. Because we are all busy.
As a critic you will discover brand new shows you may not other wise have seen, move forward with your writing ambitions with invites to ‘Press Only’ events and rise up to new horizons!
Don't forget to take business cards with your theatre blog website on to the theatre with you and gain more traction from mingling before and after the show.
If you get the chance to go to a Press Night you also get the chance to connect with artists from the theatre company, fellow reviewers and journalists who can often offer helpful tips on writing about theatre.
Hopefully this has got you excited to start putting your reviews out there, it's never too late and it's certainly never too early! This course shows you how to easily publish your review step by step and at every stage it's up to you how you want to do it.
Let these tips to try out new ways of recording your ideas to find the one that fits your lifestyle best.
Trying out different styles of work and events is a great way to discover the art form you enjoy writing about best. Boldly review something brand new like an art exhibition using this overview of an easy way to approach the work.
The joy of seeing your name as the author of a piece of work is a great buzz no matter how many articles you have had published. Use this goal as a top motivation booster and/or add to your reward with the ideas in this video.
Use the benefits that theatre reviewing can bring a critic as motivation to complete the course
ACTION - Make your goals linked with a prize so we can keep that in front of our eyes.
HERES THE HOW TO - Cut out an image of your big win for example more visitors to your blog and pin this near your work desk
Find the signature style of your writing
ACTION - Make your goals linked with a prize so we can keep that in front of our eyes.
HERES THE HOW TO - Cut out an image of your big win for example more visitors to your blog and pin this near your work desk
Module Recap - Gentle social pressure can be a great motivator.- Share your goal of doing this course in your journal or in a tweet so you have an accountability to your progress.
Aim - Find the best way to announce your goal of uploading a theatre review online to someone.
Possible solutions - use a journal, tell a friend or tweet to the world.
Action to take now - Set a date for uploading your review and record this goal somewhere before you move on.
Be accountable - your style to keep your head in the game
Experiencing easy success will transfer to your reader
Use five minutes of spare time to boost productivity and get writing done faster
Focus on how the show made you feel
Action - Write three sentences describing the set or costume or music - compare it to something it reminds you of
ACTION - Make a list of websites to send a written theatre review to
HERES THE HOW TO - Fill out this form after researching the sites online
To expand your portfolio reach out into other areas of writing that is still linked to what you love. This short guide shows you areas to look at for topics you can write about quickly.
How to make the most of your time as a reviewer at an Arts Festival
Events hosted at theatres is a great way to meet the staff and find out interesting stories your readers will enjoy. Use this guide to create a list of exciting questions you can ask to complete your feature article fast.
Look for interesting parts of the theatre to photograph to make an arts festival come to life for the reader
Discover fast ways to find information about free shows to start your review before the performance
Your existing work is a great resource. Find out how you can repurpose all the writing you have already completed to build your profile as an expert author.
Pick up a 'What's On' guide from your local theatre and flick through whilst you listen to this feature idea.
Use novel ideas being used in the Theatre to create a review of the all round experience visitors can expect.
Describe well known plays to a reader in a way that brings out new ideas
have done - three sentences describing the event itself - an outline of wether the show you are writing about is part of a festival, a national tour or a one off event. Assemble the information to guide your reader to it.
Theatre critic and writer with over 200 reviews published. I have had 2 reviews published with The Guardian, 3 Art reviews on the Saatchi Gallery website and blogged about the Edinburgh Fringe for Whatsonstage. I have won two writing awards from Oxfordshire Theatre Company and the Oxford Playhouse. I review regularly for Daily Information.