How to write a theatre performance review

Updated April 17, 2017

Before you write a theatre performance review, you should familiarise yourself with the work you will be reviewing. Read or reread the play if necessary, and research the playwright and the play's historical context. This will give you a basis for the review. Once you are well-informed, attend the performance. Pay close attention and make a few mental notes to help you write the review. It also may be necessary to attend the performance more than once to write a good review.

Begin with a catchy statement to attract the reader's attention. This can be a quote from the play or a list of items from the play, for example.

Provide a brief summary of the plot and a little bit of history about the playwright and the period in which the play was written.

Discuss the performance's direction. Give the director's name and discuss the director's approach. For example, did the director try a new approach, or was the staging more traditional?

Review the performances. Did the actors approach the roles traditionally or in a new way? Were they believable? Be sure to provide the actors' names and other information, such as some of their past performances.

Mention the set, costumes and lighting. Be sure to name all of the designers. Discuss the importance of these items to the performance.

Tell your readers whether you would recommend the play, and give reasons. Suggest ways in which the performance could be improved, and if the performance is great, tell why.

Include the times of performances, where the performances are being held and how long performances will run. Include other logistical information such as ticket prices and contact information for the theatre.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Erica Sweeney is a freelance writer and editor based in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her work has been published at, Arkansas Times, Aging Arkansas and Arkansas Business.