A Quick Blaugust Day 11 – Doing Reviews

I’m out this evening at a new Opera ‘Thousand Furs‘ at The Anthony Burgess Foundation, so I wanted to put down a few words quickly over lunchtime as it’s likely I won’t get the chance to write much tonight.

I’m going to be reviewing Thousand Furs for the blog of the organisation that I work for, which I something I’ve come to enjoy doing. For a while, I also ran a theatre blog – anonymously in case I ever wanted to go work for someone whose work I’ve slated! – and found it a really interesting experience.

One of the hardest things about reviewing is trying to ‘be fair’. Sometimes I want to rave about a show, then I have to think, is there anything that someone else might not enjoy, that I ought to highlight? Likewise, if I didn’t enjoy a show, I need to pin down exactly what I didn’t like about it, and separate any positive points.

Of course, it’s probably not a good idea to totally balance every review that I write, or else everything ends up sounding just plain average, with so many good bits and so many bad bits. Plus, it doesn’t always make good reading – I do get a certain amount of evil enjoyment out of reading a poor review, particularly from a critic who knows how to do a slick put-down (This Telegraph review of Eric Whiteacre’s Prom is pretty masterful, and completely deserved, I’d told.) Equally it’s nice to be uplifted by reading about a show that’s gone really really well.

Sadly this is all the writing I’ve got time for right now – I’ve got some longer ideas lined up for the rest of this week, unless something topical comes up, and then I might be doing a post on how Blaugust has gone so far.

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