Q. Why don’t you give star ratings to play reviews?

A. I don’t give star ratings to play reviews because I don’t like star ratings. I think the system is reductive and leads to meaningless comparisons. I want to share thoughts and have conversations, not to judge and rate.

Q. You have been too generous to play ABC. Do I see a bias?

A. In a way, ALL my reviews are biased. I write with a personal viewpoint which is as subjective as anyone else’s. If I enjoyed a play because I like the lead actor [1], that’s what I’ll say on DramaDose.

I do not make attempts to "cure" my writing of personal taste or inclinations – if I did that, I’d feel I was being insincere. I write what I thought about a play and why I liked or did not like something, and I hope that you’ll find my notes engaging, but I don’t presume to instruct you in what you will (or should) think about the play.

Q. Tell us more about your biases, then.

A. Here are a few that I’m aware of:

  • A play that does creative things with language wins me over easily. You can see this in my choice of 5 Plays You Must Not Miss.
  • I do not mind slow pace. You will rarely find me call a play *boring*.
  • My views about comedy are slightly out of sync with most people’s. Historical evidence tells me that I’m less easily amused.
  • I  do not watch performances by amateur groups (like school productions) with the same eye as those by professional groups. So I will not diss a school production if their costume designer did a shoddy job or if the actors looked like their they would giggle any minute in a serious scene, but I will probably rant about it at length if a renowned theatre group, which I have bigger expectations from, did the same.
Q. Why do you sometimes skip writing of certain aspects of the play – the set design or the lighting, for example?

A. I write about whatever captured my attention during the performance. If the lighting was neither extraordinarily good nor supremely bad, I see no point in saying "Lighting: OK."  Otherwise, it does get noted.

Q. What are your theatre reviewing credentials?

A. Aaargh. Does years of play-watching, reading plays and writings about theatre, count?

I am an absolute amateur reviewer. Incidentally, the word ‘amateur’ comes from the Latin verb amare, which means ‘to love’.  And that suits this blog just right – it’s by a theatre lover, not a theatre critic.

[1] Just making a point. Don’t worry, I am never that biased :). []

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