All reviews copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
This is a fairly complete collection of the theatre (/comedy/cabaret/dance/opera) reviews I've written, and been paid for, from my first excrescences for the Independent while still a student in 1989 until my embittered retirement in 2019. Every so often a computer crash lost me a few days' or weeks' worth of files, and some blatant duplications/rewrites as between different outlets have been omitted, but the vast majority are here.
Gaps occur and/or review formats go briefly haywire each year until the early 2010s around April (when I've attended the National Student Drama Festival) and also in August (Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe); where available, pieces about these festivals are also included. (The reviews I've written of exclusively musical events, however, aren't in this collection.) In later years I've also begun to include reviews of shows in my second home city of Berlin because, hey, theatre.
Moreover, a number of duplicate reviews are not reproduced here, except generally when a show is reviewed both in its own right and as part of a round-up column. Where I've reviewed a show singly for more than one outlet, the review published on this site is the... well, the "weightier" one: in practice, this means I have favoured Financial Times pieces over those written for the now-defunct listings Web site divento.com, ITV's Teletext service, for Theatre Record or latterly for The Lady magazine.
Each piece is marked with the name of the newspaper/magazine/etc. by which it was originally commissioned. Each piece is usually reproduced here as I submitted it, which may differ from the form in which it was published. It should NOT be quoted as "in [the publication in question]" without checking how, or indeed whether, it did actually appear.
Where possible, each piece carries the date of the show's opening night (or the press night for a particular cast change, as appropriate); this is usually, though not always, the night on which I saw the show in question – the occasional schedule clash sometimes leads to a "slippage" of a night or two. Pieces seen at festivals have no such formal opening date, so no date is given beyond the month in question. Nor is one given for many Christmas shows, simply because the schedule's too bloody crowded at that time of year to keep track.
A couple of general things to bear in mind:
As I understand it, the convention regarding copyright for freelance journalists is that, in the absence of any arrangement to the contrary, the periodical in question has right of first publication, after which rights revert to me. Consequently, I don't believe that in general I'm infringing anyone's copyright or licence by posting up my own work.
If, in any given case, I may technically be in infringement of the rights of other parties over particular reviews that I've written, I politely ask them to respect the good faith in which I'm making this material available.
This index – see links in table below – is arranged year by year. Within each given year the default arrangement is alphabetically by play title (or performer surname or festival name, where that's more salient), but from there you can also access one arranged chronologically by opening date. There's also an alphabetical index covering the entire collection letter by initial letter, and – who knows? – maybe I'll even get round to putting hyperlinks in the text, so you can follow people's careers from one review to another. But gimme a chance...
I know it's possibly incredibly vain and/or foolhardy posting all these pieces up in one place, so people can see almost at a glance how wrong I've been on various occasions, and how prone to over-using certain turns of phrase (give me a pound for every "over-egged", every "moves too fast for its mistakes to catch up with it" or every "Daddy, what's that man for?", and I could live in far more comfortable retirement than I do). But, also, it might actually prove useful as a resource, and that's the spirit in which I've bunged it all up. So here's hoping it turns out to have some value, and I don't just come over as a prize twonk.
LATE ADDITION: one old Theatre Record column that doesn't include specific reviewer-oid mention of any production, but which over the years I found myself referring back to every few months when the argument surfaced again, contains my research on reviews written by ordinary readers. I've finally mounted it on this site as well.
INDEXED BY YEAR:
ALPHABETICALLY BY TITLE
(not including definite or indefinite articles in English or any other language, or first names of performers)
or SEARCH THIS SITE for a particular reference