You’re A Star – but how many are you worth?

What do star ratings on reviews really mean?

Is it obvious? I don’t know. Do people make star judgements on reviews the same way? I often get criticised for being too harsh (and even, on occasion, too nice!) and so I thought it would be interesting to share with you my thought process when it comes to awarding a number of stars to a show.

When I walk into the theatre, I have five stars in my head. Every show I review starts off with five stars and then as the performance progresses I adjust it in my head accordingly depending on how I feel it is going. It is worth noting though that I never make my final decision on what to award until after I have finished writing up my review. I know other people who work this way too and feel it is the fairest way to operate as it gives you a chance to step back and think about the show objectively.


Here is my guide to the West End Wilma star ratings. What do you think? Do my thoughts match yours? Is this what you associate each star with meaning?

* It takes a lot of time, work and effort to put on a show and everyone deserves one star for getting it as far as the stage. It probably shouldn’t have got the far though.

** Not really up to scratch for what I would expect from a show. Possibly showing signs of potential but not quite ready to be on stage in its current format.

*** Good. I wouldn’t pay an extortionate amount of money for it but it’s worth going to see.

**** Really good. I’d highly recommend it. You’ll have a great time.

***** Amazing. You have to see this show. In fact, get your phone out right now and book it.


So that’s my guide to star reviewing. Sometimes it is necessary to award half stars (I try not to if I can help it) but you can see from the above what criteria a show would fall between if I do.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter so get in touch.

West End Wilma