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How do we get the critics here?

Issue: How do we get the critics here?

Convener(s): Andy Barrett

Participants: Frances N / Esther R / Chris K / ? (sorry mate) / Pete M

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Began by saying how Oddsocks have been trying for 20 yrs to get critics here with no joy.
New Perspectives have been successful – importance of investing in PR
There is an importance of the branding of ‘success’ for individual practitioners to aid their career development.
There is lots of work happening here in a small area. Recognition of this may be helpful. It’s about valuing the attention as much as valuing he opinion.
The most common reasons for the critics not coming are a lack of reference to the SALT guide – the list of whats opening in London theatres. And the train times (for f sake!)
Can we build a profile that is not reliant on the national press?
The thing that counts is how you create electricity around a show.
This question is about PROFILE – if an individual or a company wants to work with new producers and thus extend and develop the work the use of national reviews is very important whether we like it or not.
There is a mistrust of audience reviews – critical reviews are what counts for ACE.
But do national reviews have any bearing on engaging and developing a local audience.
If critics do not come on a regular basis they are less likely to understand the context of the work and the audience it is for. This is not helpful in a true understanding of the regional picture on a national level.
Different levels of critical response can extend, prolong and increase what a show can do or achieve. This critical help can be financially very important. How can you sell and extend a show without reviews? How does the 2nd and 3rd production happen? For many practitioners and companies this can be really important for future financial viability.
There is a hierarchy which needs to be broken down – and it is perceived by this group that this is buliding based.
ACE are very clear about the importance they place on national profile and national review. Why? And what exactly are they doing to assist in the development of the national profile of the sector.
A radical idea – cut off all contact with the national critics from within the region, Create a sense of ‘what is happening there?!’

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