About

Independent theatre reviews from around the central Warwickshire area.

Please note

All reviews on this site remain copyright of Elephant Jam. Please do not reproduce elsewhere without permission. See contact address below.

History

Elephant Jam started up as a web site in June 2011, created by a few people involved in central Warwickshire amateur theatres who had become disillusioned with the decline in press coverage of local theatre events. The aim was to provide intelligent, insightful reviews of those shows that we were able to see, being always keen to offer constructive criticism as well as praise.

In the time since then, we have had our own share of praise and criticism, the latter largely from people who felt that we should make special allowances due to the amateur status of the productions. We have never subscribed to that view, being people who act on stage ourselves and believing that excellence is something we should all strive for and that criticism of our productions, though painful in the short term, can help us to achieve that.

We continue to be proud that we offer a perspective lacking in press reviews.

The Reviews

We aim our reviews squarely at the people involved in a production who are looking for critical feedback from an insider’s perspective. We do not write the reviews to drum up audiences; this we consider to be the job of other sources of review. The fact that most of our reviews do not appear until late in a show’s run (or afterwards), especially if they may upset members of the cast, means that we would have very little effect on ticket sales in any case.

To those who feel unable to stomach this approach, we can only suggest that you look for softer reviews elsewhere. We cater for an audience that may not include you.

Star Ratings

Our star ratings have sometimes caused confusion. This probably arises from a tendency to see anything with less than four stars as being poor. This is not the case here and we seek to use three stars to cover the majority of shows that can be classed as ‘worth the ticket price’.

The other confusion arises because the star rating represents an overall impression of the production and may seem at odds with a review that concentrated on areas where it was lacking. The rating is a summary of the production rather than the review itself.

Our star ratings coupled with a corresponding word are:

Poor Poor

Uninspiring Uninspiring

Good Good

Exceptional Exceptional

A Rare Gem A Rare Gem

Comments

Comment forms are open at the end of each review for comments specific to the review and production in question, bearing in mind our target audience. While we welcome such feedback, comments that simply bemoan our general approach or seek to attack us in revenge for a bad review will mostly just be deleted. You may freely make such feedback via email and will generally be replied to and your comments taken seriously.

Reviewers

Our policy since the start has been that all our reviewers are anonymous, both from the readers and from each other. This enables us to review productions fully in line with our feelings without fear of retribution in the audition room or in other reviews. It has enabled our reviewers themselves to be reviewed in the same spirit as any other actor, director, etc by someone who is not aware that they are also an Elephant Jam reviewer. We feel the benefits of this policy far outweigh the occasional upset from our detractors and we will not change it.

Our base of reviewers has varied somewhat since we started, although has never been large enough to cover all the shows we would wish to. We continue to welcome approaches from anyone who wishes to join the team and understands our approach.

If you wish to join us or contact us for any other reason, send an email to ejam@live.co.uk.

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