I was honoured when I was asked by Fran to contribute an article to her blog. We met last year when she very bravely trusted me to direct a recording of a monologue she had written. From that very moment a friendship blossomed, and it has been great to see how Fran has grown as a theatre maker, founding her own theatre company.
I am the founder and editor of a theatre website called Theatrefullstop. Theatrefullstop started life as a lone blogger writing her thoughts on the latest theatre happenings in the Fringe theatre scene. I’d read a few reviews prior to writing my very first however had been brought up to think that theatre reviewing wasn’t something that I was entitled to do. What I’ve learned along the years is that this is not the case. If you have the passion for theatre, you already have that unique perspective, your own voice. Theatrefullstop started in July 2013 and celebrates 4 years this year. In that time I’ve been able to build a small but dedicated reviewing team. Team members have left, whether that be to pursue careers in the arts or have returned to their native countries, however we all still keep in contact, with members returning and contributing occasionally.
In 2015 we won the Young Person Recognition Award at the UK Blog Awards and that was a fantastic confidence boost as we were being celebrated for something that had been created out of a passion for theatre. Fast forward to 2017 and this year has already witnessed the first Pub Theatre Festival; a festival giving emerging theatre makers the platform to showcase their work at an established pub theatre venue. It was a lot of fun organising the festival (and a lot of work too) and it was great to watch the 14 companies chosen. This year will also witness the first Theatre and Technology Awards; an initiative celebrating the artistry and creativity happening technologically both on stage and off. There are 11 categories and voting is now open so please vote if you can!
What’s been great about theatre blogging is the people I have met along the way. I started off writing and now I’ve found that another passion of mine is organising events. In terms of advice that I can give in terms of starting up a blog; use a blog platform such as WordPress and don’t pressure yourself into writing a lot of reviews in a short space of time. See a show a month, a show a week if you’re up to it and before you know it you’ve built up a portfolio of reviews. Once you’re comfortable with that and figured out a routine, you can focus on a variation of content such as interviews, videos, features etc.
To find out more on Theatrefullstop here: http://www.theatrefullstop.com/