A theatre director has claimed regional press reviewers are “loath to criticise” performances from companies which offer them press releases and interviews.
He claimed there was “sometimes a lack of opinions from within Cornish theatre, from peers and colleagues” due to the scene being so tight-knit.
He added that theatre companies in the region were in danger of becoming “mired in sycophancy.”
Wrote Ciaran: “In part, some of this comes from the local press. I don’t know what to make of reviews in local newspapers.
“It sometimes seems that they are loath to criticise the companies that supply them with press releases and offer interviews – and, likewise, the companies need the publicity.
“One show I caught this year, which I thought wasn’t great, received a glowing review in a local paper. If that’s the case, then what does a good review stand for? Does it mean anything?
“There’s no harm in telling the truth and I know I could certainly have benefited from some more honesty at times.
He went on: “Last November my theatre company received a fairly scathing review for a work-in-progress performance we staged.
“I didn’t agree with everything that was said, but as a result we made real improvements to how we work and it was refreshing to see this approach in a press review of a local production.
“It may not be a great idea to write this. After all, I work every day with brilliant people in Cornish theatre.
“But I think it’s important because it would be great to see a change in how we talk about each other’s work and being more open and honest.”