Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: reviewing

Festival Post Mortem

I always knew I would write this post, but even now I find it difficult. I have been home 3 nights and there is nothing more comforting than fast ADSL, animals, my things and my solid pillar of Big Friendly. Still, for those of you who weren’t there or didn’t hear me say so, the festival was one long, tough, exhausting, often painful, occasionally inspiring, frighteningly empty affair.

I had very few people coming through the door to see Drive With Me, even though those that did seemed to love it, a lot. The combination of a great review on day 1 and then nothing until an Ovation award on day 10 didn’t help (although I am deeply grateful for both). Song And Dance got better and better, without a word or pic in CUE (to be honest I have no idea how people knew about it), and even though Pieter Bosch Botha and Richard Antrobus did a sterling publicity job on Fully Committed and people raved about it I had visions of sold-outs and extra shows because of how perfect it was for the festival. Truth is, it was a very quiet affair, with tons of parking in the streets, food and furniture always available at the Long Table, nobody at the Village Green, and people handing out comps left, right and centre. The only full show I attended was jammed full of school kids. That’s not to say there weren’t full ones. It seems shows that were there for the 2nd and 3rd time did better.

The worst part about all of this is that I am already thinking about how to do it differently next year. Please, theatre gods, if I decide to jump, look after me harder.

And now for some other news. I have decided, after much hearty discussion with friends, family and some colleagues, to stop writing review style posts here on meganshead. I am very sad about it, but I feel like it typecasts me in the industry and people then find it difficult to see me or receive me when I do theatre work of my own. Obviously, that is still more important to me, and so I think I will serve myself better if I am not seen as a theatre critic. I’ll still write, and share my opinions about everything else, including industry related stuff, but I will leave the ‘reviewing’ to those less involved, even though I am confident I did a bladdy good job. So, I will still see almost everything, and I will facebook and tweet about whether I liked it or not, but I’ll reserve this space for writing about other, varied stuff. How do you feel about that? Please send me comments to let me know.

Tabloid style reviewing

Take a look at my blog. Scroll down a few pages and you will see that I have liked or loved at least eight things in a row. Ok, that does include a movie, but still. Eight in a row is pretty good going I think. Especially for me, since I have been called harsh, and vicious and bitchy and horrible, amongst other things. You will notice that the most comments any one of those rave reviews got was three. Yup, three people committing to comment on the good stuff. Then go to the ninth thing. The one I didn’t like so much. 20 comments. And they are rude!

So, I’m understanding something here, and relating to the tabloids who have made a business of smut and negative and scandalous. That’s what people want. They get excited and hot under the collar. They get defensive and personal and mad. But mostly, they get emotional.

Forget rave reviews. Forget brilliant performances. Forget me trying my hardest to conjour up an audience for something worth seeing. No, people want me to hate something and slag it off. That’s when people get sent to my blog. That’s when word gets out. That’s when people jump on the comment wagon and sing their stuff from the meganshead rooftop. And that’s when I get my reputation for being a theatre hating, blonde hating, music hating cow. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so revealing. This is an industry that loves the dirt, the scandal the failure. And I find it weird. Pretend I hated Hol. Get excited and go and see for yourself.

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