How important are young reviewers to theatres?

An arts debate piece discussing the importance of young reviewers in relation to theatre.

How important are young reviewers to theatres?

On one hand, young reviewers will relate to a teenage audience therefore causing their opinions to sway the readers who will likely be teenage and will be reading for recommendations from people they believe they can relate to and trust.  This will cause more young people to buy theater tickets therefore helping the ticket sales as well as helping the young audience as Sean Coughlan an education assistant for the BBC said “research suggests that almost half of teenagers have never been to the theater before”.  This means that there is a large age group that don’t get to view theater meaning that the theaters don’t get the ales and exposure to that age group that they need and the influence of young reviewers could change that. Teenage audiences will also be the future audiences for theater so young reviewers effecting them and making them consider theater now means that later on theaters will still have viewers. Young reviewers can also help with marketing to a larger audience and can help to get theaters more exposure through social media and sharing reviews to the public. 

On the other hand, some research concludes that young people already regularly access theater as in a 2013 article it says“87% of people aged 16-19 said they were likely to see something at a theater”.This can suggest that they already make up a large part of theaters audience and the theaters ticket sales so the influence of young reviewers on young people/ teenagers isn’t necessary.Some also may argue that a review by a young reviewer could have less impact than one from an older one as they will most likely be more trusted and will be seen to be more experienced therefore reaching a wider audience compared to a young reviewer, an older reviewer is also more likely to get there reviews read by parents who are also a huge part of influencing children to go to the theater to see shows/ performances.  This suggests that theaters still need young audiences but maybe young reviewers are not needed to create those young audiences as there are many other ways to reach young people.

To conclude my opinion is that young reviewers play a necessary part in creating theater audiences and general interest in theater for a younger audience than theaters can usually reach from marketing.I believe that this makes young reviewers very important for theaters as teenagers are soon to be the main audience for theaters and without a growing and changing audience, theaters would struggle to continue as business

Header Image Credit: Image by MustangJoe from Pixabay

Author

Philippa Hancock

Philippa Hancock Local Reviewer

A gold arts award student :)

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4 Comments

  • Emrys Green

    On 8 July 2019, 18:22 Emrys Green Voice Team commented:

    We totally agree here at Voice! It is indeed a great way to build younger audiences.

    Maybe you'd be interested in being one of our young reviewers? (https://www.voicemag.uk/become-voice-contributor)

  • Oluwatayo Adewole

    On 9 July 2019, 07:21 Oluwatayo Adewole Contributor commented:

    Definitely agree. I think more holistically in terms of criticism as a whole, it's important to have multifaceted perspectives.

    E.g. an older reviewer may not get certain cultural touchstones referred to in certain productions. Or in a slightly different vein if all reviewers for a particular show are male, certain gender dynamics/experiences may be missed etc.

    So yeah, I totally agree, and I think for the best criticism possible we need a wide range of critics

  • Lucy Dyson

    On 9 July 2019, 18:33 Lucy Dyson Contributor commented:

    I totally agree. I think it's important that both young and old have the opportunity to review, as we are accessing a variety of perspectives and ideas. Younger people are more likely to relate to certain culturally relevant or modern references/ideas which may have gone missed otherwise.

    Everyone should be able to access the opportunity and it gives a more diverse range of criticism and which is beneficial for both the audience and performers/creative team.

  • Jo Nead

    On 10 July 2019, 12:54 Jo Nead Contributor commented:

    I also agree. If a show has a younger targets audience, sometimes adult/older reviewers will not connect with the piece or simply won't appreciate it for what it's worth.

    I have read a review of a show before where the reviewer really didn't like the piece and didn't understand what it was trying to achieve, which can put people off of going to see it. Luckily, I persevered and went to the show anyway, and was absolutely blown away. I was the ideal target audience for the show and I completely understood it.

    It reminded me that young voices are so important, especially in the arts, and reviewing is an excellent way for your voice to be heard.

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