While proving you are fantastic at counting should surely always be close to a producer’s heart, I’m afraid it’s taken me rather longer than I hoped to get around to counting the star ratings of the Daily Telegraph reviewers Dominic Cavendish and Charles Spencer to add to those of the Guardian and Evening Standard.
However, here they are:
So, Charles Spencer is both the nicest and nastiest of the critics so far, with an impressive 6 one star reviews and 22 five stars (out of 191)!
So after revealing that Michael Billington is nicer* than Lyn Gardner, here are the results for the Evening Standard critics, Henry Hitchings and Fiona Mountford.
And the winner is… Henry Hitchings, with and impressive 54.67% of reviews rated at 4 or 5 stars, beating Fiona Mountford’s 46.51% by a solid margin. Interestingly, these were both higher than the Guardian critics’ scores of 43.75% (Billington) and 31.70% (Gardner).
So there we go. Daily Telegraph up next…
*where nicest equates to percentage of theatre reviews given 4 or 5 star ratings.**
** as counted by me, very unscientifically.
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.
So, it’s the end of the year. Apparently what you have to do is summarise everything with a load of numbers. So here goes. As is also traditional, these may be made up.
13 Months trying to be a theatre producer.
8 Months spent actually producing.
54 Shows I’ve read.
45 Shows I’ve seen.
1 Shows I’ve pretended to see (not including Shakespeare).
14 Shakespeare plays I’ve pretended to see.
14 Shakespeare plays I’ve pretended to see and subsequently discussed.
2 Performances left during the interval.
16 Performances where I regretted not leaving during the interval.
4 Number of projects I’ve produced.
1 Number of plays I’m producing that are definitely opening next year.
Now normally after listing all the numbers you draw fancy charts or make sparkly graphics, but there’s only one number that matters much when you’re trying to be a producer, and that’s the last one. How many plays are you actually producing. And, after many months, I do actually have one. It’s called The Boy on the Swing, by Joe Harbot, and it’ll open at the Arcola Theatre Studio 2 on 9 March 2011.