Lyn Gardner is an author and theatre critic who writes regularly for The Guardian and reviews theatre productions in London and beyond. Here are her 5 top tips for reviewing a Shakespeare play:
1. Try to familiarise yourself with the story before you go.
2. Don't panic. It's not necessary to understand every word. If you relax you may be surprised how much you understand.
3. Remember that Shakespeare wrote for people just like you. His work has only been treated as high art since the 19th century. His plays were the popular culture of their time, just like TV and movies are for us today.
4. An audience isn't just passive. A good audience is active. The show can't happen without you doing your bit. You are not at the theatre to receive the play but to claim it for yourselves. It's a two way dialogue, so engage. That's particularly true at the Globe where the energy of those standing in the Pit becomes almost like a character in the play.
5. Going to the theatre is not a test. It should be a pleasure. Enjoy the bits you enjoy and don't feel like a failure if there were times when you were bored or couldn't follow what was happening. If you are genuinely trying to engage but still not enjoying the show, the fault might be with the production, not you.
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