How to get reviewers to come to your show

This is not difficult at all.

Your starting point is that you have, in the first instance, already done a brilliant PR campaign to promote your show.

Now by that I mean that at least 3 months before the show is due to start you have release a fantastic photo(s) of the show (even if you have to use actors you won't be casting and pay out to borrow good costumes and go to an enormous effort to create the right set/location).

Yes - you read correctly - at least 3 months before opening night! Be aware that some of the free magazines that are distributed in local coffee shops have deadlines for listings that may well be at least 3 months before the date of a particular magazine issue's publication.

When you post those listings with free magazines and websites take the opportunity with the magazines in particular to send a very concise but charming email to the arts editor saying you'd really appreciate their help in listing your show.

The same principle then applies to the local press and the local radio. What you do is send them a slightly longer preview article than you have sent out for listings magazines. You ask them if they could please help you out by publishing your preview. Usually, if it's well written enough, an arts journo on the paper/at the radio station will run a piece - but only if the photos are top quality.

When you contact the radio station ask them if they'd be interested in featuring your director/one of your actors on one of their arts chat shows.

Once you have placed listing information with a crackingly good photo on every single listing website; sent it to every free magazine; sent longer preview pieces to every radio station and to your local newspapers then you are 90% of the way to getting an arts correspondent to review your show.

This is the crux: once you've approached them already with a preview and they publish it, you then send the editor a charming email offering TWO FREE TICKETS to opening night if they would kindly send a journalist in to review your show.

When they do (not all of them will but usually 1 or 2 will in my experience) you make sure that you have a front of house person who reserves the best seats in the theatre for your reviewer, who ushers them to the bar area in the interval and gives them free drinks and who gives them a free programme as soon as they arrive on the night.

Forging a good relationship with the reviewer is essential because if they like you, even if they give you a mediocre or bad review because they didn't like your show, THAT REVIEWER WILL DEFINITELY WANT TO COME BACK AND REVIEW FURTURE SHOWS.

Once that reviewer has then published a review you will find that other members of the media will want to come and review as well.

I have found that doing a radio interview before your show (even if you have to start with your local voluntary community radio station rather than the BBC) is very helpful.

I have worked as a BBC reviewer myself and so I know what works and what doesn't.

You are in the charm game here with this business of getting reviewed and if you remember that you'll never be short of a reviewer.

Also when you list your show on Remotegoat (and you really MUST LIST IT THERE IF YOU'RE SERIOUS) then folk may apply when they see it to review it.

Never forget the importance of your early marketing strategy - that is what will determine if someone will want to review that show of yours or not.

Very best wishes with this and I hope this has helped you.