Brief for this week: How to review a play

5 Top Tips for reviewing a play:

  1. 1. As a guide a newspaper review is generally about 300-500 words long.
  2. 2. Read a theatre review. It doesn’t need to be of the same play, but see how other reviewers write.
  3. 3. Try to avoid saying something was ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Explain what you saw and heard and explain what the impact it had.
  4. 4. Always give reasons to justify and explain your thoughts and opinions. Eg, avoid saying something was ‘effective’, instead explain what you saw and what the effect was on the scene, on the character, on the plot or on you.
  5. 5. Shakespeare’s stories are generally so well known that the story itself is never really the topic of a review, it’s how the story is told that makes every performance different.
  6. These tips come from Harper Ray, Reviewer and Theatre Critic for a variety of national and London based publications including Total Theatre and The Wharf.
  7. Now download the brief and try writing your own review. Once you are done email your creations to to us at and we may select it to feature on the site.