Tuesday, 17 April 2012

N Naughty or Nice - critics and reviewers

N Naughty or Nice - critics and reviewers 
One of the hardest aspects of writing theatre reviews is deciding what to write when you really don’t like what you have seen. Sometimes the acting is really good but the script is not compelling. Other times a really interesting play can be ruined by a poor performance. Or one bad actor can spoil excellent work by the rest of the cast.
It is especially hard when you are reviewing a show by a young or new theatre company, who really need people to be encouraged to see their work. Yet you, as a reviewer, have a duty to be forthright about your take on the show.
Similarly when writing about the rare BAD restaurant or culinary experience, or travel travails, how scathing can you be without just sounding mean or bitter?
Fortunately most of my experiences are more positive than negative, and it is rare that I find absolutely nothing good to say. When I find myself agonizing over what to write, I think about the comment from a wise friend who tried to ease my concerns by urging me to remember that “its only your opinion and others may have very different opinions to yours, and that’s ok.”
BUT others are not necessarily sharing their opinions in a format that can reach a large number of people – on line or in print – and influence their decision whether or not to go out and buy a ticket or make a reservation at a restaurant, or even take a particular cruise itinerary or choose a cruise line.
Those rare times that things go bad are when I wish I had the wit to couch my criticisms in cleverly ambiguous forms of the “performs his duties entirely to his own satisfaction” variety but alas a rapier wit is not a characteristic I can honestly claim. So I will just have to continue to be me. WYSIWYG and call it as you see it.
After all an honest opinion is really what most people want to receive. What do you think?

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