Saturday, October 12, 2013

Devil's Advocate #4

Review, Reviewer, Reviewed

Before there was the internet, there were theatre creators on one side and t'other there were critics and reviewers. Sure, they might meet at opening night parties or at galas and nod politely but contact between the two was otherwise reserved for the odd interview. Publicists and PR departments ran interference and kept things civil. On one or two occasions, some mad artist might send a reviewer a poison pen letter - but those were the stuff of legend. 

However, since the internet (Facebook, Twitter, comments sections following reviews) all hell has broken loose! Now, an artistic director, with a couple of opening night drinks under his belt, can respond online to a review the minute it comes out and epithets have been known to fly! Comments sections turn into raging pits of frustrated rage and Facebook threads have seen the fur fly! 

A student in PR 101 will tell you losing your cool with a critic is almost never a good idea. So we ask:

Should a creator ever respond to a review and if so, how so?

1 comment:

  1. As a creator, there is nothing more potentially rewarding or potentially frustrating than getting honest feedback from critics and audience members. Unfortunately, the temptation to jump on their criticisms and explain them away as "choices" or "oh, you didn't get it!" is too great.

    Yes, creators should respond to reviews. After all, it's their show! HOWEVER, they should only post if:
    a) it's been at least two days (have the chance for others to get a word in);
    b) some of the criticism is "unfair" for one reason or another (critical point missed before passing judgement, personal vendettas, etc.).

    BUT these guidelines can be disregarded if:
    c) there is an outrageous mistake in the article (wrong venue/actor/playwright/whatever).

    All of the above is, of course, just one opinion!


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