So I had this idea today, when I saw that a review for The Emancipation of Arnie was published on the 24 April, five days before the show FINISHES. And the worst part was that it was a really good review. So it has little or no value this late into the run. I mean, that’s as useful as an all seam attack against the Australians.
How about a special press night preview, a night before the show officially opens, with a mandate from the daily press to send someone, who comes, and then publishes their review the day after the show OPENS? That gives them ONE WHOLE DAY AND TWO NIGHTS to write the review. At the very worst, they could attend opening night and go home and write the review after the party. The excuse of it being too late for print no longer stands. The reviews can be posted on the web in four seconds flat.
Our theatre runs, particularly at small, independent theatres, are often very very short (like the brilliant Kissed By Brel), so by the time a review comes out the show is over or at least almost over. In a few other parts of the world a show is made or destroyed by the reviews that come out the day after opening. This means that the reviews have high importance and meaning, Cape Town critics. That’s the whole POINT of a review, ne?
So, here’s my challenge to all Cape Town reviewers and bloggers who crit and crits who blog and anyone who writes theatre pieces and listings and stuff. Let’s get those reviews and opinions out at the latest two days after a show opens. Let’s give theatre a chance. Let’s give our jobs meaning. Yee ha.