A depth of knowledge and a genuine passion is essential for an informed review. This article discusses the relationship between theatres and arts critics in the regions from the reviewer’s perspective. It discusses the devaluing of star ratings to reviews and the role of the critic to enlighten, educate and entertain readers, whilst allowing them to form their own value judgements.
If I want to hear what somebody with no qualifications, no interest, and no real information has to say about something then I’ll earwig in the pub or on the bus. To the best of my knowledge media outlets don’t, for example, use a fan who likes a bit of a kick-about to write about Manchester United – yet it seems the arts can be treated with that sort of
There is a fine balance that needs to be struck, though, between supporting regional arts and artists and being blithely uncritical of their output. This goes back as well to the necessity of the reviewer being perceived as an honest broker – or at least more trustworthy than paid advertisements and puff-piece interviews.