Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mark Shenton on how prepared a critic should be..

After my attempt at reviewing The Caretaker without running off to Wikipedia, here's Mark Shenton's view on whether you should read up on old productions, seek out the original text etc. Basically, he's not sure!!

Oh, and I realise my Boosh countdown came to a rather anti-climatic end on Monday... basically I'm trying to get my essay out of the way so I can sit down and properly absorb it. With popcorn and the lights off :) But in the mean time, here's a gratuitous screencap of the DVD from the forum:

1 comment:

Dean said...

That's quite an interesting piece actually. When I was up in Edinburgh reviewing comedy I had an interesting experience. I was reviewing a show called Cowards on around the second or third day and didn't enjoy it at all. But before writing the review I discovered they'd just got a radio 4 series and were being bigged up by the BBC and all the other critics were giving them great reviews.

So what to do? Clearly your notes are highly critical but it seems like you're the only one that thinks that way. In my case I gave it two stars and watched as the masses of comments came in disagreeing, but also a few in support, which at least proved it wasn't just me.

What I'd (unwillingly) done there was take what I think is the best approach: go see the show blind and get clear in your mind your opinion on how good it is or not (much easier if you're doing it professionally as you have pages of notes telling you what your first impressions, unencombered by other people's views were). Then go read around before you write the review and let that inform what you write.

In my case the text of the review actually explained how the typical radio 4 audience would probably quite like Cowards, and how it will be right at home in thier schedule, and if that's your bag then you'll enjoy it. But I just found it lacking in laughs, with no jokes, just weirdness, and not being half as smart as it thinks it is.