I’m Chris Neville-Smith. I do stuff for theatre. I do some writing, some directing, and some acing. But that isn’t what this blog is about. If you want to know about what I do for the theatre, you can check my playwriting site here. You can also Twitterstalk me here. This blog is about other people’s theatre.
This started off as a review blog following a number of requests for me to do this. As I write and direct plays myself, however, it is not appropriate for me to do a blog which routinely rubbishes other people’s efforts, so instead this is a blog that concentrates on things that are good, in particular small-scale productions that deserve more support. A full list of rules can be found in the reviews policy. I live in Durham so most of my reviews are of plays in north-east theatres, but I go to the Edinburgh, Brighton and Buxton fringes and also review stuff there, not to mention the occasional play elsewhere when I happen to be in another part of the country. I am only one person and it’s not possible for one person to comprehensively review everything on offer, so my reviews should be considered a cross-section of what’s on offer out there.
However, this blog has increasingly taken on a secondary role of my comment about theatre in general. Occasionally I give general tips on how I think good theatre should be done, but a lot of the time I comment about the support (or rather lack of support) given to small-scale artists. I am a strong supporter of open-access festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe, but the Edinburgh Fringe is not the only open-access festival out there and I firmly believe we need more of them if audiences are to be given the choice they deserve. I have connections with various theatres, venues and other reviewers, I’ve worked with some of them, and I might work with some others in the future depending on how things go. However, I am not afraid to say what I think, even if it means biting the hand that feeds me. I hope I am being fair to the people I criticise, and I will always defend the right of reply, but I will be disappointed with myself if I ever pussyfoot around because I worry about upsetting someone’s sensibilities.
Anyway, that’s the basics. Couple of more detailed articles below if you want more information:
A more comprehensive guide to the sort of articles you’ll find in this blog
All the things I don’t do. If you’re hoping/expecting me to support your latest venture, you probably ought to read this first.
A light-hearted list of all the things I get asked from time to time.