Bestseller Book Alert!

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Writing can change lives. 

On a good day it takes you to wherever you need to go. 

Ambition, dreams and success are life candy. Why not want more of what you like?

Sure. Then how to fill your boots?  How do you download this success. 

You’re already there. I mean you’re on the internet. You found it. Relax. Type what you need and find the best guide. Your smartphone or free library internet access can take you there. 

And what if you want to see your writing published? What if you want to enchant new friends with free theatre tickets? What if you want to network with the great and the good at arts preview events and private openings?

Then write a review. 

It’s easy!

And it’s fast. 

This will NOT take a lot of time. 

And it will be fun. 

Let me show you how with my reduced price goof proof, fill in the blanks book. 

It’s just got a fifth 5 star review and I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Let’s do this review together. 

I’m in your team and in your side. 

And offering this number 1 bestseller book for 99p or cents for a limited time. 

Here you go. See you in the other side. 

Waiting to read your review so let’s do this! 


Political Theatre – Edinburgh

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A host of Fringe musical premieres include official Brexit show Brexit the Musical by Chris Bryant from Strong and Stable Productions. New comedy musical Trump’d from Two Thirds Comedy and Cambridge Footlights sees Supreme Dictator Trump finally facing a unified resistance in 2030. The Marriage of Kim K from Leoe & Hyde re-imagines Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in a topical setting. Colla Voce Theatre’s new musical Buried at C too investigates what transpires when two serial killers meet through online dating, while The Poltergeist of Cock Lane investigates the only time in legal history that a man was charged with murder based on evidence given by a ghost. From Korea, Monkey Dance: The Rockapella Musical combines a cappella, beatboxing and martial arts in a fusion of physical musical enjoyment for all the family. Climar Productions’ Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story returns to C.


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Carbon – REVIEW

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Creative Worked Reviewed


CARBON – Oxford Brookes Fine Art Degree Show

The dynamic nature of this show is immediately present in Jessica Dickins’ iconic work that suspends three blocks of ice left to slowly melt onto the floor next to Hannah Burrows’ vivid coloured lines of wet paint physically dripping like slime from the ceiling. In the background is the sound of water swirling to create a multi-sensory experience that continues through out the show. Traditional fine art painting technique is present in the closed sleeping eyes captured by the diverse range of Katherine Summers’ brush strokes. A complete face is presented along with diamond like stars in the effervescent layers of Beth Brookes’ ‘Constellation’.

A variety of textures are seen through out the show and notably in the dirt and bone fragments photographed in Ellen Mcaleavey’s richly layered ‘In Memoriam’. Amy Dyer demonstrates ‘Technological Overload’ with a busy repetition of square shaped graphics that demand attention. The small boxes appear like pixels on a screen and have a collage quality to them.

Stepping into the accomplished installation by Holly Daizy Broughton sets off the noise of a spring coiling. Displayed on a platform are the wire coil springs of a mattress. Hanging on the wall are charcoal sketches of the coils. The unlit room lets in only grey natural light giving the work shadowy overtones. The work is inspired by the long time the Artist spent recuperating in bed from chronic illness and evokes the moods of that experience. The sense of confinement is echoed in Anne Hoxey’s intriguing film, ‘Self Contained 2’. It plays in a bell jar nearby and reveals a personal testimony about the impact of telling the truth and the difficulties of creating boundaries in open relationships. Her brutally honest magnetic work blows open the nebulous nature of self-esteem and the devastating effect of betrayal.

The personal connection art can make is shown figuratively in digital portraits by Rachel Dent in her touching ‘Gratitude to the Eternal Guard’. Her portraits are made to thank a group of people that made her feel for the first time part of a social group while playing Dungeons and Dragons.

The corridor is permeated by the sound of someone breathing whilst expressing a full body release. These echoes are from Rosamund Yip’s work in an adjacent room. Yip pulls her body along the front as a paintbrush to smudge charcoal lines and extend her arms in broad gestures to create lines in ‘Separation of Consciousness’. A video shows how she creates a wall-mounted drawing by moving herself over a sheet of white paper to draw the graphic on display. Opposite this is a tiny room taken over by Charlotte Hazell’s ‘Predetermined Perception’ in which 3D shapes appear to move towards the eye and are suspended in mid air because of the illusion created by the black and white fractal graphics that plaster the wall. This work shows the power of an image by upturning preconceived reality.

In S. R. Lawson’s 6-minute film he shows his own interaction with a robot the size of an artist’s hand-sized wooden mannequin. Lawson tweaks the robot during film as its moving body develops a life of its own and begins questions the world around it in a gripping story line. Close by on the brightly lit walls Karma Lama offers impressionistic portraits made with a heavy sepia tone that notes a bold urban style. The tones of colour used echoes dirt and the broad-brush strokes is reminiscent of an immediacy that is continuous with the experience of being homeless. Next to this are Olivia Wheatley’s textured blue canvases that use big contrasts in colour tones that generate a sculptural quality. The busy foyer area uses a notice board to display sections of personal letters written in black ink on transparent paper in Alice Preston’s moving ‘Close Reading’.

I warmed instantly to the sheer humanity and unstoppable honesty of Beth Arscotts’ installation of flesh coloured tights that hang on a wall next to a pink wig and scattered cheap make up that are placed on the floor. Entitled ‘Ecstasy Beyond Pleasure Series’, this stands next to Karin Christina Hurley’s detailed embroidery of botanical graphics stitched onto fabric.

In Sandy Cluff’s ‘Oceanic Cries’ colourful plastic waste is shaped into what looks like a beautiful sea urchin’s tail that explodes from the corner of the room. Through a draped doorway, Christine Surridge creates a softly focused film showing words dissolving and reforming as a response to loss entitled ‘When words become inmaterial’. By contrast, Danielle Clarke portrays everyday reality on a life-sized oil canvas in the piece ‘Kay in the cafe’ where the routine of studying in a cafe is immortalized. On a larger scale Orianne Pierrepoint captures elderly people in a profound thoughtful moment using fine lines and great detail in a series of black and white portraits.

A world of nature-inspired escapism is the experience that Abigail Lark’s ‘Lavender Hour’ offers using polystyrene beads underfoot as fake snow which is side lit with violet hues as soft winds blow opaque nets draped from the ceiling over the viewer. Lights from the ceiling are toned to imitate sunlight reflecting off the snow. I return three times to this virtual mountain-top and enjoy the generosity of the Artist in designing a blissful analogy of freedom inspired by T. S. Eliots poem ‘The Wasteland’.

The immersive quality of art is further represented in other work on show, including Andra Stavarache’s film and soundscape that reveals a woman treading water to stay afloat. Stavarache’s ‘Hydroself’ leaves the viewer with the note ‘we are all bodies of water’. Mariana Acevedo’s ‘Velux Book’ presents textures of nature in fine detail. The series of images includes reflections bouncing off water and movement of clouds passing. A triptych of paintings by Freddie Davies offers a darker journey through nature. The series displays blue-black inky canvasses entitled ‘The Eye of the Night.’  Nearby, Katherine Small’s textured fabrics mounted on the wall pop out at the viewer with wrinkles and a dynamic that suggests movement of the body.

In the connecting space are the dynamic multi-layered over-sized blue canvases of Sibtay Shaheed with bold text swirling on the surface. Text is used in a number of contexts through out the show. In her work, ‘Flowers’ Jasmine Stonehewer offers expansive instructions for each month. In this wall mounted collage January reads, ‘Expect a bright star. Be careful. Watch the olive tree.’ Lines of text are used by Laura Barton-Fox in a rolling digital display. Each sentence refers to inner conflicts and personal judgments that would result in a limited experience of life. The minimal installation reflects this. It is freeing to read such destructive comments openly revealed in a public setting.

The darker side of social media is explored in Emily Hawkings’ installation. A small room becomes mildly intimidating as male voices narrate their intentions by reading out their tinder statuses that are also projected onto the wall.

If the intentions of all graduates on show are to expand the viewer’s experience and enrich our personal connection then they have done this beautifully. The art world feels more spacious and expansive after engaging with these fresh ideas.


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Global Edinburgh Fringe Highlights

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Summer in Edinburgh means you can enjoy theatre from around the world.  Here are some ideas.

C Venues hosts an unprecedented dance, physical theatre and circus programme from around the world. JSLN Dance (Germany) return to C with VirtuosityDon Gnu (Denmark) present A Snowball’s Chance in Hell, and Martin Kent (Spain) performs Slipstick. From Switzerland, Vanessa Cook Dance’s Creature at C south provides a unique free-fall experience for performers and audience. Kallo Collective (Finland) perform Helga – Life of Diva Extraordinaire. Rogue Play’s Taking Flight is outdoor immersive aerial theatre for the visually-impaired, open to all, and free workshop.

Pick up Fringe Guide at your local Arts Venue, check out the listings online or pay to have one sent to you from the Fringe office.



Summer Highlights of British Theatre

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pattern-03The sun is beating down and all sorts of mixed media shows are delighting the cities.  There are dance shows made famous by TV dazzling the stages.  Tribute acts honouring American legends like Dolly Parton are thrilling people.  The contemporary dance shows filling the local Playhouses are forthright in their ability to mix media like theatrical dialogue next to acrobatic skills and yet it all makes sense.  Even though the weather is beautiful there are many good reasons to be in a darkened room with the highlights on offer in our cities.

Journeys – REVIEW

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The square canvases of Claire Wiltsher’s work accentuate the dimensions of the dramatic global scenery she captures with oil paint and mixed media.  Materials collected on her worldwide journeys are incorporated into some of the pieces to generate a 3 dimensional experience when viewed from a distance.  In exciting abstract pieces, such as ‘Spatial risks’, concentric layers of paint circle outwards to represent the dizzying dynamics of large buildings.  Circumnavigating the spherical O3 gallery, destinations such as Cuba, Belize and Kathmandu are embraced.  ‘Isolation’ and ‘Structure’ depict landscapes closer to home in the format of a small square canvas.  The Artist frequently chooses colour tones that successfully tell the story of each location.  Vivid blue hues draw down the New Zealand sky and ocean in ‘Phenomenon’. There is a feeling that the fired earth tones of Australia have been lifted from the land and onto the paintbrush in ‘Shipwrecked’.  The image of the penetrating white Mediterranean sunlight breaking down the architectural lines normally visible to the naked eye is captured in ‘Translation’; a composition of an Egyptian side street.  Oil impasto is built up to embrace the colour and energy of Nepal in ‘Memento’.  ‘Alluring Light’ of Cuba shines with gold tones and mixed media.  In contrast, other works are pure oil paintings that are notable for their predominant grey colour such as the English ‘Seascape’.  The techniques Wiltsher has honed may inspire the budding Artist to liquidate all assets, pursue global journeys and experience the colours shining through these 20 paintings.  ‘Journeys’ is certainly an exhibition to make your feet itch!


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Forgotten Voices – REVIEW

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Strangers meet over coffee in a lobby after giving interviews of their experiences of World War I in this 90 minute performance that embraces the suffering inflicted on the survivors of man’s bloodiest conflict to date.  Kitty, widowed early in life, loses the capacity to fall in love again, ‘It was all over for me.’  Colourful anecdotes of working in munitions factories where the yellow powder taints the girls’ skin yellow are told.  The ‘bevvy of beauties’ being so proud of the men at the front, push white feathers into the palms of ‘conchies’.  It is the domestic details that pull hardest on the heartstrings.  During a Music Hall number, the chanteuse starts marching around the room as everyone follows, but pauses before putting a hand on Kitty’s husband’s shoulder.  The men are lead towards a recruitment table and given the King’s shilling.  After Kitty’s husband’s brief 6 days leave he shares his fear with a relative that he may not return.  Belinda Lang plays Kitty with a soft, powerful humanity.  Matthew Kelly plays jocular Private Harris, who eventually lands a bit of luck when a piece of shrapnel lodges in his kneecap.  The hierarchy of the military is imbued in the blood of its personnel.  Harris addresses the next veteran to join the room as Sergeant, ‘I knew by looking at you.’  The well mannered reserve of the Officer who sits quietly in the corner is maintained for most of the performance.  Finally the Officer breaks down and states the unbearable truth that in 3 years the troops advanced just 8 miles and in one of his final manoeuvres he is told to flee that same ground for his life.
Towards the latter part of this social gathering, an American GI joins the group.  As Harris has it, ‘We were waiting for you!’  This new member builds on the healing potential of the reminiscence and it is patently obvious how therapeutic nostalgia can be.  The Yank tells his own tale of a Nation not knowing what they have signed up for, ready to join a fight at ground level but unprepared for trench warfare.  His unit starts off with soldiers 5 paces apart and ends the day with 100 yards separating the soldiers.  Such is the unimaginable devastation.  Cast members Steven Crossley, Rupert Frazer and Tim Woodward impeccably generate the voices of true soldiers continually evaluating life in terms of courage.  To date only three veterans live to tell their tale of the First World War.  This well-written play by director Malcolm McKay is an adaptation of Historian Max Arthur’s anthology of interviews of WWI veterans.  As a piece of theatre, the audience is a bystander in a lobby area where these reminiscences are being spoken.  The play may not overwhelm you as a graphic re-enactment of the brutal scenes surely would, but the sensitive way in which these stories are told penetrates the psyche and is highly emotive.
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On the site of Oxford Castle’s medieval Chapel, ‘Passion’ is performed telling the tale of Christ’s last days on earth. All that remains now of St George’s Chapel is the underground crypt that lies beneath the outdoor stage, supporting the show’s exuberant spirit that strengthens any faith you may have walked into the space with.  The four Gospels, as recently translated by Nicholas King SJ, are dramatised in the Passion Play, a format used originally to educate the masses about the content of the Bible. Vibrant pageants include the opening scene of Jesus throwing the money lenders out of the temple and later shielding an adulterer from being stoned, offering the advice ‘If I were you I wouldn’t want to go through that again’.  Lizzie Hopley’s comfortably humorous script accentuates the human emotions the Biblical characters face in this modern interpretation.  Mary Mother of Jesus (Caroline Devlin) wrings out every last shred of pain as she struggles to accept the unstoppable tragedy facing her only son.  Since the 13th Century, staging of these pageants draws on the talents of often hundreds of local people, making the Passion Play one of the earliest examples of community theatre.  Local Designers Lucy Wilkinson and Abby Price texture the stage with a rural finish, craft enthralling masks for the choir and source gnarled bare branches for the minimal props.  Aidan Treays’ stirring choreography makes for menacing crowd scenes, from the choir dressed in earthy tones of soil, a substance ritually spread over areas in need of purification.  The swathes of dangerous, decadent red scarves initially draped over the crowd are later swapped for pure pacified white scarves, matching the white of Jesus’ collarless shirt.  Wearing everyman clothes, Jesus offers the message that no one should get in the way of true peace as white flags are flown. However in spite of the many dazzling miracles staged to entertain the audience, the scarves do not stay white for long.
Director Charlotte Conquest and indeed the whole Creation Crew, the FOH Team lead by David Edwards, deserve an ovation for delivering a third quality show in one inclement Summer.  The unseasonal weather offers atmosphere to the text.  The sun beams a spotlight on the searing solo of the Angel of Death (Dami Olukaya) as the performance begins with the Passion people promenading in the castle courtyard.  As the Angel plays the role of Guardian Angel Gabrielle to Jesus during the show, a cold grey wind rattles when she drives the Saviour to accept his destiny. Strain is placed on the love the Disciples feel for Jesus as he appears to be just letting his crucifixion happen.  Judas stresses about the political advantages the Messiah is letting slip away from the group. But Jesus stresses ‘this is not a rebellion that is won with weapons’.  Mary Magdalen takes us on the longest emotional journey. Movingly, this woman with a colourful past is excluded from being accepted into the temple.  The actress brings an informed richness to the text and is herself an ordained minister.  Life enhancing lessons are offered for committed non-believers in equal measure.  The value of faith itself is shown by Peter, he briefly falters in his belief half way through his journey walking over water. He falls in.  The power of the show comes from the bloody crucifixion scene and the inevitable return of the red scarves. With their leader no longer present on earth, Mary Magdalen (Natalie Garrett) draws us almost to help her pray as she struggles to love and forgive.  In returning from the dead, Jesus is unflinching in his parting shot, as he instructs his troops to ‘fish for your lives’.  A subtle realisation that the word ‘Jesus’ has been barely uttered pays off in the final moments.  As Peter, played with strong integrity by Tim Crowther, asks of the leader, ‘what do we call you?’ The response is, ‘I’ll leave that up to you!’ Whatever name you assign to the spiritual source, Tom Peters is a good match as Jesus and inspires meaning in Peter Lole’s rousing musical finale of ‘Kyrie eleison’!
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Equestrian Art

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horse theatre

Monday Lunch time review…

Paintings by Neil Cawthorne and Barrie Linklater capture the dynamic speed of horses in motion whilst detailing the fine musculature of the equine species.  Scaled up sculptures by Lorne McKean portray man’s best friend such as ‘Lillie’ the Bulldog and ‘Boris’ the charismatic Great Dane. The swirling surfaces McKean finishes her sculptures with give an inner life to the subjects that greet the visitor with beady canine eyes. All work in this compact show successfully captures the essence of country life.  A hot hazy mist surrounds Linklater’s ‘A Summer Morning in the Glover’ and a steamy aura of body heat radiates off the racehorses in Cawthorne’s ‘After the Last’.  The quality of composition in the paintings is well structured particularly in Cawthorne’s ‘The Passing Storm’ as the fresh scent of new rain is palpable. Cawthorne depicts hunt scenes majestically conveying the even rhythm of the movement of the dogs in ‘Away’ and the posture of a natural leader in ‘The Huntsman’.  The entrance to the gallery displays McKean’s tall, lean sculpture of the Duke of Edinburgh executing a polo manoeuvre that adds to the regal tone of this display of fine equestrian art.  As Linklater describes the horse in the title of a painting exploring the mystery of this much-celebrated beast, here is ‘A Creature Born of Fire and Air’.


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Find the Fun in making your writing SHINE!

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review tips

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 10.56.20

I love writing.

Don’t you?

Getting all your thoughts down on paper and out of your head.

No one to say what’s right or wrong

(shut up inner critic now !)

No one to tell you even what to write.

You can be your true self.  You can honour your feelings.

You can be that rebel.  You can try out a new you.

It’s all about you.

What’s not to like?

Ah.  Just one thing.

The editing, the re writing, the structuring..

The call-it-what-you-will thing that you do to make your page of writing make the best sense.

This is when things can lose the fun and I don’t what that to happen to you.

The stream is flowing so let’s not turn it into a trickle!

Let’s keep that stop cock on.

What’s your big idea?  Your mojo?

Be clear on this before you go at your writing with your editors head on.

When you clean up your writing to make it shine remember you are only doing a bit of polishing.

Or light dusting.

Just to make it slide easier into the hands of your reader.

Be sure you do not smash your big idea, your unique take.

This is your gold.

So after a stream of paragraph writing which we have now done in the previous sections.

(We should be looking at 3 paragraphs on the page so far.)

Use these ideas below as a fun system to make them look professional and generally fabulous.

Basically if something is not fun we tend not to do it I find.

So think of this like an Instagram filter on your selfie .. designed to make your work look its best self.

  • We take out weak words to sound strong.
  • We check through grammar.
  • We swap out words that are used more than once.
  • We break long sentences into two.
  • We double check all facts and details.

And this won’t take long.

And it will make a massive difference to how people react to your work.

And YOU deserve that !

Let’s go.

‘Simple subedits

Make your work shine.

Simple subedits

tell your genius it’s time!’


1 Take out weak words

Too many flabby words that slow readers down mean they may not make it right down to the bottom.

Readers are used to scanning the internet for what they want.

Some words keep people reading faster than others.

Use this guide to cut out words that may not flow well (look out for repeating the same word too often).

This list may also inspire you to chose a few different words to make the review easier to read.

Hot words –

Fast Easy Quick Simple


Power up your page and  scrutinize your writing.  You want to stand out and not weaken your idea.

Certain words and phrases are so commonplace your reader is blind to them like ‘your’ ‘and’ ‘my’ ‘the’.   If you are short of space and you can make sense without these words they can go.

Some weak words you can do without –

  • About –Use “approximately” or a range: Fifteen to twenty people attended.
  • Absolutely essential – Redundant phrase. You don’t need absolutely. Booking is essential
  • Add an additional – Redundant phrase. You don’t need an additional. Ex: They added an additional chorus. Better: They added a chorus.
  • All of – Flabby expression. Drop of. Ex: All of the costumes sparkled. Better: All the costumes sparkled.
  • Anonymous stranger – Redundant phrase. You don’t need anonymous. Ex: The last act introduced an anonymous cast to the plot. Better:The last act introduced a stranger to the plot.
  • Armed gunman – Redundant phrase. You don’t need armed. Ex: Armed gunmen are dropped onto the stage. Better: Gunmen are dropped onto the stage. 
  • As being – Flabby expression. You don’t need being. Ex: The playwright is known as being an expert on translations. Better: The playwright is known as an expert on translations.
  • As far as I’m concerned – Empty Phrase. Don’t use it. Ex: As far as I’m concerned, all comedians are nervous before a show. Better: All comedians are nervous before a show.
  • At this point in time – Empty Phrase. Don’t use or fix. Ex: At this point in time, the director is a world expert on musicals. Better: The director is a world expert on musicals.
  • Bald-headed – Redundant phrase. You don’t need headed. Ex: The character was bald-headed. Better: The character was bald.
  • Blend together – Redundant phrase. You don’t need together. Ex: The lighting colors blend together nicely. Better: The lighting colors blend nicely.
  • Cameo appearance – Redundant phrase. You don’t need appearance. Ex: The actor’s cameo appearance caused a riot. Better: The actor’s cameo caused a riot.
  • Crisis situation – Redundant phrase. You don’t need situation. Ex: In the crisis situation the lead character tried to relax and think clearly. Better: In the crisis the lead character tried to relax and think clearly.
  • Current trend – Redundant phrase. You don’t need current. Ex: Some say absurd theatre is a current trend that won’t last. Better: Some say absurd theatre is a trend that won’t last.
  • Descend down – Redundant phrase. You don’t need down. Ex: After the murder the heroine descended down the steps to exit the building. Better: After the murder the heroine descended the steps to exit the building.
  • Emergency situation – Redundant phrase. You don’t need Ex: The plot is based on an emergency situation at a hospital. Better: The plot is based on an emergency at a hospital.
  • Enter in – Redundant phrase. You don’t need Ex: The designer lets the viewer enter in an enchanted forest. Better: The designer lets the viewer enter an enchanted forest.
  • Equal to one another – Redundant phrase. You don’t need to one another. Ex: The two guitarists are equal to one another in talent. Better: The two guitarists are equal in talent.
  • Final conclusion – Redundant phrase. You don’t need final. Ex: He came to a final conclusion that he hated his job. Better: He came to a conclusion that he hated his job. Best: He concluded that he hated his job.
  • Finally – Weak linking term. Be more precise. Ex: Finally, the actor got the job done. Better: After five attempts, the actor got the job done.
  • Fly/flew through the air – Redundant phrase. You don’t need through the air. Ex: The trapeze artist flew through the air above us. Better: The trapeze artist flew above us.
  • Frequently – Imprecise Phrase. Use something more specific. Ex: The dancers frequently change costumes. Better: The dancers change costumes for every new song.
  • Give in – Weak phrasal verb. Use concede, or quit. Ex: The main character does not give in. Better: The main character does not quit.
  • Join together – Redundant phrase. You don’t need Ex: The two trapeze artists join together as one. Better: The two trapeze artists join as one.
  • Joint collaboration – Redundant phrase. You don’t need Ex: The joint collaboration between writer and musician is a success. Better: The collaboration between writer and musician is a success.
  • Most unique – Redundant phrase. You don’t need Ex: The music is most unique. Better: The music is unique.
  • Not honest – Avoid using negative constructions if possible. Try to say what something is instead. Ex: The main character is not honest. Better: The main character is dishonest.
  • Passing fad – Redundant phrase. You don’t need Ex: Having the house lights on during a dance show is a passing fad. Better: Having the house lights on during a dance show is a fad.
  • Pick up on – Flabby phrase. Use notice, or sense Ex: He didn’t pick up on the subtle nuances. Better: He didn’t notice the subtle nuances.
  • Present time – Redundant phrase. You don’t need Ex: The lead actor is not available at the present time. Better: The lead actor is not available at present.
  • Start off/out – Redundant phrase. You don’t need off/out. Ex: Let me start off by saying this show is world class. Better: Let me start by saying this show is world class.
  • Surrounded on all sides – Redundant phrase. You don’t need on all sides. Ex: The hero was surrounded on all sides by enemies. Better: The hero was surrounded by enemies.
  • Very – Flabby modifier. Use a stronger word that very is modifying. Ex: I was very scared when he pulled out a dagger. Better: I was petrified when he pulled out a dagger.
  • When it comes to – Flabby phrase. Use when, with or delete the phrase instead. Ex: When it comes to casting Shakespeare, you must choose actors wisely. Better: When casting Shakespeare, you must choose actors wisely.
  • You’re going to – Flabby phrase. Use you’ll instead. Ex: You’re going to love this play. Better: You’ll love this play.


2 Grammar Check

Make it easy by finding out your favourite online resource to help with this.

Try out these –

And of course Word has an amazing ability to flag up grammar that isn’t working out on a document.

Check the tense is the same all the way through the review

Check the verb ending agrees with the noun

The theatre curtains close (not closes) to mark a dramatic ending

To give your review the best dramatic impact avoid the passive voice and give every object an action.

The lead actor falls into the gutter and keeps dancing

Is better for an impact on the reader, taking them to experience the show other than

The gutter is dived into by the lead actor.

Make the subject act on the verb.

Make your verbs stronger by spotting ‘very’ and ‘really’ and taking them out and finding a better verb.

The last fixes are the easiest –


3 We need to remove words that are being used more than once

Use a thesaurus if you find that words like ‘nice’ ‘good’ ‘excellent’ ‘brilliant’ are being used more than once.

You will be surprised what interesting choices you can use instead.


4 Cut long sentences in two

We need to break long sentences into two so readers do not have to struggle to take in the information.

If paragraphs are just made of one long sentence see how you can break this up with semi colons ; this is a great way of making sense and not breaking your flow.

Make sure every sentence has a subject verb and noun.


5 We need to double check all the facts and details.

Remember one tip is – if in doubt leave it out.

If you are not 100% sure a fact is true than don’t use it.

This will create trust between you and the reader.

Feel free to cut out information that is not needed or does not support your review.


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