Being an audience member
Reviewing shows – an accessible guide
By Madeline Denny and Chris Rider
An audience is a group of people who are watching a show.
It’s great to be part of an audience and to enjoy a performance.
Sometimes it’s not good to go to a show that you don’t enjoy.
Reviewing an event means telling a story about what you thought about it.
There are different reasons why you might enjoy or dislike a performance. Here’s just a few of them:
Different people like different genres or types of show / gig / performance.
If you have access requirements the venue might be good or bad at accommodating these.
You might like or dislike the venue or place.
You might be having a great time with great friends, or not be in the mood for it.
The atmosphere might be great or boring.
There are different ways you can tell that story
1) You can talk to a video camera about what you thought about the show.
This is a good way of recording what you thought about the show. You can see an example of a film of Gig Buddy Luci talking to Chris and Madeline on camera here:
When you film somebody talking, you can think about dividing the screen into three, as this can make the shot look good.
Luci’s eyes are a third of the way down the screen.
Here is an example of a review written by Chris (click on the image to see the Gig Buddies website):
Here are some things to think about when you write a review.
- You can write whatever comes to mind and what you remember from the event.
- It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit long or short.
- Describe how it made you feel and if you liked it.
- Put down what were the best parts of the evening.
- Write what the bands or performance was like.
- Was there anything that could of made the night better for you?
You could write the review yourself or you could say the things you want to write and another person could write for you.
3) You can be interviewed about the show that you saw
Berhana, a Gig Buddy and review writer, has written some questions to ask gig buddies, to get them talking about shows they have been to:
WHERE DID YOU GO WITH YOUR GIG BUDDY?
WHAT WAS IT LIKE?
HOW DID YOU GET THERE?
WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU DIDN’T LIKE?
WOULD YOU GO AND SEE IT AGAIN?
Some things about interviewing to think about…
- Having somebody asking you questions is good because it helps you to think about what the show was like.
- But it means that another person is having a say in the way that you review the show, because the questions that they ask will help to shape what you say.
4) You can rate the show
A simple way to review a show is to say how many marks you would give it out of five. You could choose to give it a number of stars:
Or a smiley or sad face:
5) You can photograph the show to document your experiences of it
It’s good to take a few different pictures – of the people you went with, the venue, the audience, and the performance.
For example, here are some pictures of Hastings Beer and Music Festival:
6) You can draw a picture of your experiences of the show.
Madeline is the Project Manager of Gig Buddies, which links adults who have a learning disability to a volunteer with similar interests to attend events together.
Chris is a participant of Gig Buddies and an Admin and Marketing Volunteer for the project. He has written numerous reviews of gigs that he’s attended as a Gig Buddy.
For more information about the project and to read some reviews written by Gig Buddies go to www.gigbuddies.org.uk
You can download this guide as a PDF here