Work in the theatre? A poll: Do you read reviews of your work?

5 November, 2009 by 4 Comments

I followed with interest the blogging of Jane Fonda earlier this year.  She was rehearsing and appearing in 33 Variations on Broadway at the time.  She wrote a post To Read or Not to Read – the reviews, that is – and it emerged that she was advised be her friend, fellow actor Christine Lahti not to read them, at least until after the season was over.  The post and the comments make for good reading – as does the whole blog of the process.  She wrote

This will be hard for me. My curiousity may get the better of me. Yet I can imagine that if a reviewer really likes or really hates something I do, it has the potential to change my performance a little. Something to think about between now and a week from now. I’ll let you know what I decide…maybe.

She turned out to be as good as her word, and read them when the show closed.

I thought it was time to see what the general consensus is, so here’s a poll which we’ll keep open for a couple of weeks.  Have your say!


4 Replies to “Work in the theatre? A poll: Do you read reviews of your work?”

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  2. Admin says:

    Sheila, thanks for your comment. Yes it is my intention to pubish the ‘Other’ comments when the poll is closed.

  3. Sheila Sky says:

    I would love to know more about the 20% “other”. Maybe you could publish it list style when the poll is done.
    As a manager/producer I always read reviews. They can provide fuel or ideas for future marketing initiatives beyond just pulling quotes. And while certain reviewers may have more “importance” in terms of generating box office, I think all reviewers have value, including audience commentary. As artists we are interested in communicating, and by reading reviews, we can learn how what we are doing is being perceived. In the process, we might learn something about how different genders, ages, education levels, etc. are interpreting our work, how language is in the process of evolving between generations, what issues are most captivating/relevant or which production elements seem to draw the most attention. This information can and should influence our next work, so that we can become better communicators with our next broad or targetted audience. My 2cents.