To begin with I didn’t add star ratings to my reviews. After completing my module in Theatre Criticism at college I decided I would add them. I know there are pros and cons to them, but I think they are a useful tool for me and hopefully for my readers.
I must add that I choose the theatre I go to see, so that is primarily why I imagine most get a good rating, as I’m unlikely to spend my time and money on something I’m not keen on seeing in the first place. I do however take risks to keep me on my theatrical toes, and sometimes that pays off, other times it doesn’t.
I operate a 5 star rating and I use the following as my criteria:
1 Star : Would be an AVOID rating.
2 Stars : If you like the writer or the theme, or your interest is piqued them perhaps give this a go, however it’s not worked for me as a piece.
3 Stars : A good and solid production, nothing awful, but likewise nothing that makes me think you MUST go and see this.
4 Stars : This would be a production that has a few things that make it stand out from crowd and I suggest you give this your attention.
5 Stars : GO AND SEE. Everything about a 5 star show is exceptional and so gets this top rating.
Most shows that I select to see I would hope to give a 3 or 4 star rating for. I do only give 5 stars when I really think they deserve it. Likewise I’d only give a 1 star if it was awful. (I’ve not given a 1 star rating since starting the ratings, and in fact can only think of 1 production I’ve seen that I’d give a 1 star too at present).
I also DO NOT give star ratings to amateur productions as I feel they should be judged differently to a professional production.
I trust that offers a bit of clarification as to how/why I give a star rating.