Love them or loathe them star ratings are a corner stone of the current theatre review landscape. Here are the Theatre Bubble Editors’ guide to stars ratings, what they mean and when you should use them.
1 Star – The show is offensive, insulting or feels like it has deceived audiences and given them a horrible theatrical experience (pretty much self explanatory, I think we’ve only given one 1 star in the last twelve months)
2 Star – Bear in mind a 2 star review can still be doing 40% right. You should never feel bad about giving 2 stars – audiences need to know, as do the performers themselves. Feedback is key. For these shows, despite the good in them there are simply too many shortcomings to make the show enjoyable or funny.
3 Star – This is where the majority of shows should lie. A 3 star show means a solid theatrical experience – a good night out. You can enjoy a 3 star show, you can learn from a 3 star show. It’s doing more things right than it isn’t – there’s just a missing piece of the puzzle they’ve yet to find that would make it a great show.
4 Star – This is when a show really starts to impress – it teaches you something you’ve never realised, or has blown you away theatrically and left you exiting the theatre itching to see it all over again. This is an exceptionally good show you would recommend to everyone should see.
5 Stars – This is a perfect piece of theatre: a show that you feel has changed your life or your idea of what theatre is and can do. Every beat, every second, was perfect, you would change nothing. It is a show you will remember and talk about for decades to come. 5 star shows are a rarity, if you find yourself wanting to give out more than one five star review in 100 you should seriously question it. Theatrical perfection is very hard to reach.