Friday, 9 August 2013

Star Ratings

I have had a great run of four and five star shows!

Unlike reviewers in newspapers who often get told where to go, I do this for fun so I tend to pick shows I think/know I'm going to like and avoid things I'm going to hate. I also go back to see the same show twice if I really like it (like Doug Segal who I reviewed for the second time recently and Diane Spencer who is about to get another great review for me).

This means I am more likely to give four or five star reviews than most newspapers...

A lot of publications have recently felt the need to clarify what their star ratings mean. I think in general the problem is with a three star rating.

To most reviewers a three star review means it's a pretty good show and you should go and see it. To most people reading a review, a three star review means that it's two stars away from being amazing and one star away from being worth seeing.

To me if a show is better than "just all right" and falls within the "well worth seeing" category, I give it four stars, which takes away any doubt.

To me three stars is an average show, that I would not be bothered about missing, two stars is someone who is trying hard but not quite getting across to the audience and one star is someone who is so bad they piss me off, either because they are completely deluded or self absorbed that they fail to see how bad they are.

I also take into consideration the whole experience... I'm not going to give a show a lesser review if my enjoyment is spoiled by a heckler, but if the theatre space is completely inadequate or they pack in too many people to the point that it's completely uncomfortable then I may factor that in too.

Ultimately though, and this goes for all reviews, not just mine... The description of the show should give you a much better idea of the reviewer's thoughts than the star rating. If a reviewer hasn't got their thoughts over well within the body of the text then they have failed.

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