Reviews - our policy

Cartoon of man reading paper
We provide reviews of shows we list so our readers can decide whether they want to see a show, and also to provide general information about shows that are playing in London and what's going on in the theatre world in general.

Also, reviews can provide real insights into what a show is about, how it relates to our own lives, and its relevance in terms of the development of theatre.

Reviews can also be a good read - witty, intelligent and interesting pieces of writing. And many of us like a good read, don't we?

Our main aim in publishing reviews is to provide a fair representation of the opinions expressed about a show.

So, we include staff reviews which we have written, links to reviews from other publications and guest reviews - from you, our readers.

For each show we list, we allow space for

- 3 staff or guest reviews, and

- 3 snippets from (and links to) reviews from other organisations.

This structure allows us to provide you with a spread of views and opinions about a show, and we hope that is also fairer to the show's actors and creatives.

Star ratings

We use a fairly common rating system of 1 to 5 stars - 1 being the lowest rating and 5 the top score.

This 5-star system is the one used by many other publications and many search engines.

We never give a zero rating - if you see only grey stars for a show, like this ...

Image for no show rating

... it simply means we don't have any reviews for it yet.

The rating shown at the top of the review listing page is either an average of our staff, guest and link reviews, or the most common rating we have found in our research – we indicate which we are displaying just under the star rating.

External reviews*

We include snippets of reviews from other publications with star ratings where these are available - some publications do not include star ratings, but we still link to those reviews for variety and to give you a better picture of reviews in general.

We select snippets and ratings from a wide range of publications, and not just the big names such as The Guardian, or other major newspapers.

That way, you get to read reviewers you may not even have heard of, and you get a wider range of views.

We generally choose reviews which show the range of opinions on offer, so you may often find some high ratings in our review listings as well as low ones - the spread of ratings for a single show can be vast.

Sometimes, this may lead to slightly skewed results and, occasionally, misleading impressions.

For example, some early reviews may have poor ratings, while others appearing (sometimes days) later may have higher scores - and we may not have access to those reviews when we compile our selection.

Unfortunately, this is not an exact science - what we try to do is to provide a fair selection of snippets and ratings at the time we assemble our selection.

However, we've recently changed the way we decide our overall show rating to make it reflect not only our selected reviews, but also the most common rating among reviewers in general.

Also, in our review listing, you'll find a handy button ...

Reviews search button

... which will allow you to do a quick search for other reviews about the show - that way you can find more ratings.

Guest reviews

We provide all our visitors with the chance to write a review and get it published on our site.

We do this partly to give budding writers the opportunity to get published, but also to allow you to express your views about a show - we don't think writing a review should be the sole preserve of professional writers or journalists.

Your views count and we want to hear them!

If you want to write a review you can submit it to us using our simple, easy-to-complete form which you'll find here.

You can send us a review well into a show's run - you don't need to write it simply on the show's press night.

However, we don't generally accept reviews from preview performances since a show might still be being polished and perfected at that stage, and actors and creatives deserve the respect to allow them to do so.

We read all reviews sent to us and publish the ones we think are interesting and will appeal most to our readers.

But we also like to give a voice to new writers and young people.

So, get writing!

Like any publication, we may edit your review - see our terms and conditions for other details.

* We have no control over external websites or the content they offer, and we accept no responsibility for that content, or for the views and opinions they express.


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