Posed by: Jake Orr
Present: A number of people, no names collected.
This question was born out of Jake’s questioning of how as a critic, he could be doing more with theatre than just writing about it. Is there a way to effectively write more than just words? Should a critic have to do more? Do they do enough already?
- Influence – does a critic already have a certain influence within their work. How can this be extended, or is this influence alone enough to support them and the work they see?
- A critic could become an advocate for the arts, helping to bring about discussion for cross-fertilisation, assisting the conversation.
- The group spoke about the critic as ‘the bridge’. How a critic can direct conversation between both the work and the audience. The critic acts as the bridge for the audience to see into the work, and likewise, the work to see the audience.
- This leads to the notion of the critic building ‘the community’, which works in a collaborative sense. If critics offer more in their reviews (such as more on the greater picture, the ‘landscape of the arts’) then the audience might be more inclined to read their reviews.
- Naturally the critic is subjective.
- How is it possible for someone (the critic) to talk about a piece of work within their words? Is it possible to convey the emotional journey as an audience your experience when watching theatre? Surely a critic has to convey more with his words, than what they see. The emotion of a piece.
- Is it possible for a critic to be doing more? Should they be doing more? Is there a need for more?
- There is a need for younger companies to be discussed, reviewed by critics. Can the critic go into a rehearsal room and offer themselves as a mentor for the work? The critic could become mentors for the arts and help to develop the work.
- How else can a critic respond to work beyond just writing? A suggestion to look at Hannah Nicklin’s collaborative approach to responding/engaging to the In-Between Festival in Bristol. Using video, audio, photos, words, discussion with artists. The critic becomes the catalyst and the reactor to the work.
- Bloggers have the ability to create more than just words, because they are not limited by the print media. Bloggers can create the ‘alternative content’. The ability to create an environment for the reader, which print media can not do.
- The online reviewers open up discussion, that print media struggles to do. The Guardian recently opened up their comments below the reviews for the first time online.
- What does an audience actually want to read within a review? Do they want to know more than just seeing a show? Do they just want to hear about what the critic liked and disliked? Is there space for more?
- The group felt that we started to over anaylise what a review/critic is/was/should be.
- Reiterating a key point from earlier: The online can create an environment for their audience. The online critics should try to build upon this more to create more than ‘just words’.
- The group spoke about several different publications and what they offered with reviews. Frustration over certain limited print.
- Does an audience have a loyalty with a certain critic, and therefore should that critic push the boundaries and challenge their audiences? Can this be done through their words?
-Critic as Teacher – Does this seem patronising?