Who are we looking for?
Are you involved with NT's 'New Views'? Or perhaps you've taken part in another of their projects? We'd love to read your reviews about NT performances!
How to write for Voice
To write your first review, follow these simple steps:
If you don't already have an account, register for one in the top right hand corner of the site. Please contact us on [email protected] if you have any problems.
Once your account is set up (or if you already have one) make sure that you are logged. If you go to the top right hand corner of the site, and click on the icon
your details should come up.
Then visit here, scroll down and click on 'REVIEW'. An upload form should open up.
1. In "Title" write [NYT: Title of Play]
2. Upload an image of the performance, or the logo from the NYT site
3. Write a one sentence summary of the performance in the SUMMARY box
4. Paste your review into the CONTENT box
5. Scroll down to VOICEBOX and select 'National Theatre' (note, this will come up if you start typing the word National!)
6. In TAGS add the name of your specific project (e.g. New Voices)
Then save in the top right hand corner!
Once your work is up on the site, you can share the link with your friends, post it on Twitter, or paste it onto your own blog.
Tips on writing reviews
Reviewing theatre shows can seem like a daunting task, and one for newspaper critics and journalists with years of experience. But, everyone has to start somewhere, and it's great to develop your reviewing skills from an early age. So, where do you begin?
Picking your show
Make sure the show that you review is one you are interested in, or else one that you'd like to know more about. It's great if you are going to something feeling inquisitive, and eager to learn more.
If you already know the show well, then make sure you are looking for something new when you head over. Maybe they are experimenting with an unexpected side of the story? Maybe you want to focus on one key theme.
Making notes in the theatre is tricky. Instead, concentrate as much as you can on the action and allow yourself to be pulled into the story and key emotions. During the interval, make sure you have a pen and notepad where you can jot down your initial thoughts. Ask yourself:
How has the play been staged? Think about use of space and props.
Which performers are making an impact on you and why?
Has the story been told in an imaginative way?(eg. themes, setting, context)
What did you enjoy about the way the language was used?
If the play was narrated, what did you think of the way the narrator told the story?
How is it making you feel?
How is it different from your previous experience of this play, if any?
Take ten minutes during the interval and/or after the show to ask yourself these questions, so you can get your main ideas down while it's still fresh in your mind.
Speaking to the cast
If you can get quotes from the cast or directors, this will add depth to your review. Look out for staff on the night who might be able to help you do this. Ask the cast members and directors how they enjoyed it, and the main creative ideas behind their production. Make sure to voice record or write down their answers so you can quote them! You don't need too much, one or two sentences can be enough.
Writing your review
It helps to write a one sentence analysis, to keep your review on track. For example: "An imaginatively designed set, with a good play on comedy" or "A funny first act that in no way prepared me for the horror of the final moments"
Then, plan a beginning, middle and end. Make sure that each paragraph is still in keeping with your one line analysis. A good structure is this:
Introduce the overall ideas and themes of the play. What was the one most effective take away point?
Look at each of the take away points in more detail. It helps to write a paragraph on each area. For example:
Paragraph one - which themes did the performance highlight, and how did they make these work?
Paragraph two - how was the set used to make these themes stand out?
Paragraph three - how did the performers add to these themes, and who was especially notable?
- If you know this play already – or if you've seen a different performance of it on a different night - how was it different to other versions you've seen? What was good about this?
- If you've never seen the play before, what have you learnt from it? How clear were the messages? What is your takeaway feeling?
Advice for intermediate writers