I recently had a long train journey up to Edinburgh and, having forgotten to bring the mountain of scripts I had to read, needed something to do. So I thought I’d have a go comparing the star ratings of different critics. Why? Well, what the critics think of a show is pretty important, especially when you might not have the marketing budget to survive an almost universal drubbing.
So, I looked through all the past reviews in approximately the last year and counted the star rating. My science teacher would be proud.
So here are the numbers for the Lyn Gardner and Michael Billington at the Guardian.
Interestingly in the 208 reviews I counted by Michael Billington he didn’t award a single 1 star review and only 7.21% of his reviews got 2 stars. Lyn Gardner on the other hand awarded 1 or 2 star reviews 18.3% of the time (in her 224 reviews). Perhaps that’s due to the higher proportion of Edinburgh reviews, which tended to be lower rated. Yet Billington still gave a 4 or 5 star review 43.75% of the time. So I’d be pushing for his review from the Guardian.
Whether this is actually helpful or not is not clear. I’m inclined to suspect that trying to woo a critic to come see your show because they are more or less likely to award a five star rating is probably futile. But, I guess you can’t have too much information. Use as you will!
Next up, the Evening Standard.