What do you do if you find yourself weeping in the stalls? How should you react to Jude Law's trousers or David Tennant's hair? Are you prepared to receive toilet paper in the post? What if the show you just damned turns out to be a classic? If you gave it a five-star rave will anyone believe you?
Drawing on his long years of experience as a national newspaper critic, Mark Fisher answers such questions with candour, wit and insight. Learning lessons from history's leading critics and taking examples from around the world, he gives practical advice about how to celebrate, analyse and discuss this most ephemeral of art forms - and how to make your writing come alive as you do so.
Today, more people than ever are writing about theatre, but whether you're blogging, tweeting or writing an academic essay, your challenges as a critic remain the same: how to capture a performance in words, how to express your opinions and how to keep the reader entertained. This inspirational book shows you the way to do it.
Foreword by Chris Jones, Chief theater critic, Chicago Tribune
Mark Fisher is one of Scotland's foremost commentators on the arts. With over 25 years' experience, he is the Scottish theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List and a freelance contributor to Variety, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. He is the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide ("A wonderfully practical but also inspirational book full of good advice" - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian) and the co-editor of Made in Scotland, an anthology of plays published by Methuen Drama.
1. Introduction 2. How to Learn from Critics of the Past 3. How to Take on Different Critical Styles 4. How to Write for Your Readers 5. How to Do Your Research 6. How to Find Your Voice 7. How to Write the First Sentence 8. How to Structure a Review 9. How to Write in the Moment 10. How to Write Opinions 11. How to Give Star Ratings 12. How to Write About Acting 13. How to Write About Plays 14. How to Write About the Production 15. How to Write About the Audience 16. How to Write About Context 17. How to Write About Emotions 18. How to Write About Your Bias 19. How to Write About Culture, Society and Politics 20. How to Put Everything Together 21. Index