How Many Ways Can You Say "You were simply Marvelous, #Dear"

Posted on 7 May 2015

Many of you will know I'm a reviewer and blogger for several companies including this one and my own theatre blog, which I enjoy immensely. What do I enjoy about it? Well I get to see a lot of outstanding London theatre which I'm very aware is a very privileged position. 

Now, recently I've had negative comments about my reviews being too "positive". Being a former performer myself I know just how much sweat and tears goes into getting a show on the stage. Remember my reviews are my own and not the views of the company I'm writing for. People often tell me that they have now taken a chance and gone to see a show that they had previously had no interest in seeing, and most importantly have thanked me for the encouragement. So what's wrong with positivity, I ask myself?
In my opinion nothing, reviews are great and they can encourage people to see a show but the clue is in the word, they are reviews. As reviewers we are not theatre critics which I believe is totally different. I see my role as very much to share how I felt when I sat watching the show.
However I've come across one slight issue and in talking to another very esteemed theatre reviewing colleague I hit upon the title of this blog - How many ways can you say "you were simply marvelous, dear"?
Fortunately the quality of our theatre is of such a high level that I'm often hitting the thesaurus button to find ways of saying just that? So I thought it'd make for a fun little blog and asked my followers on Twitter to come up with some suitable positive descriptive words in the hope that there would be some I hadn't thought of or used before? So here's the list: fabulous, amazing, incredible, outstanding, stunning, stupendous, awesome, breathtaking, inspiring, top-drawer, mind blowing, powerful, breathtaking, riveting, spellbinding, awesome, and stunning. Now admittedly there are few in there that I haven't used before but for me it was more the fact we were looking for positive encouraging words to describe what should be a pleasurable experience.
Let's face it a trip to the theatre is not cheap so if you want to be wowed then you need to know where to go to fulfill that experience. Yes I'm a positive reviewer but you'd certainly think to yourself, if I said anything otherwise about a show - my goodness me that's cause for concern?
So what's the harm in spreading positivity and encouraging it? Many new shows that have come and gone recently which really shouldn't have, could have done with encouragement for audiences to take a chance? I challenge anyone reading this not to think of at least two shows that crashed and burned when they should have been supported and delighted in the fact that it was new writing and maybe tomorrow's classics? I also hazard a guess that you were also thinking of a few positive words when you read this, which I rejoice in what's the harm in sharing the love of theatre enthusiastically!

I've been able to see and review some of the best theatre and musical theatre that London's West End has to offer. You can check out some of my recent reviews on London Theatre Direct, including: Katie Brayben Is A Phenomenal New Talent In Beautiful, 5-Star Review: The Nether Is Remarkable And Daring, and ★★★★★Review: Memphis The Musical. I've also discussed theatre etiquette in Caroline Hanks-Farmer Talks Theatre Etiquette: Where Did Our Manners Go?
We have some extraordinarily brilliant theatre in the world. I implore you to please treat yourselves and go out and enjoy it - I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Embrace the experience and delights that are live performance!
Thanks as always for reading and happy theatregoing!