Is the phantom reviewer a theatre lover that’s risen from the grave, to see how the latest actors match up to the board treaders of yore?
Or is the phantom reviewer really called Mr/Ms P.Hantom (or similar), and it’s just a clever-ish play on their name?
Or is it the third option? (Clue: it is the third option). The phantom reviewer is a man who loves the stage, and everything that appears on it. In a theatre-watching career spanning over 30 years, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the very ugly. It’s a welcome break from my ‘other life’ as a freelance writer.
How do you know what’s worth seeing, and what’s complete trash? Here’s the sordid truth: you can’t always trust the reviews. Often the reviewer has links to the writer, the director, or the theatre, or they’re given perks on the night of the show. Not-so-subtle bribes, if you wanted to look at it that way.
That’s why my identity will always remain secret. In that way, you can be assured that my reviews are always completely impartial. You don’t know who I am. The theatres don’t know who I am. Heck, even I’m not sure who I am some days. But I do know that I’m crazy about drama, musicals, comedies, the opera, ballet and everything else that can take place on a stage.
I’ll sneak in, sit somewhere near the back, and then sneak out. Like a, er, phantom. That writes reviews. I’ll be reviewing shows from all round the country, in big theatres and regional theatres. There are great (and awful) shows to be seen in all of them.
Each review will be marked from 1 Phantom to 6 Phantoms. Why 6? Well, I’ve seen lots of great productions recently that have been worth a 5 star (I mean Phantom) review, but then where do I go if something truly spectacular comes along? That’s why the coveted 6 Phantoms will only be given in exceptional circumstances.
You may not agree with my reviews, but you can bet your bottom euro that my opinions will be straight from the heart. As well as theatre reviews, I’ll also be writing book reviews, and talking about my passion for the Brontës. Please drop by for regular reviews, and remember this: if all the world’s a stage, who’s in the audience?