Peer Critique - valued or irrelevant

tania Holland Williams, 19 September 2012

AKA - Me, myself and I as as was the only one who pitched up at this session. The fact that I was the only one clearly proffered some immediate feedback about the importance of peer review to the people at this event. So I'm thinking that it is either low on people's priorities, or the theatre makers of Kent already have their peer critique sorted or it is an unwelcome adjunct to creative flow.

Falling back on my own thoughts (rather than talking out loud to myself which was an option), I thought I would map a bit of thinking about the subject matter: barriers/impact/feasibility etc.

Starting with where it seems to currently be happening in any visible way: there is PANEK who are a strong critical supportive voice for new work, the Pot Luck series provides events where new work can be talked about and critiqued, and there is a strong network of informed theatre practitioners who are articulate. But peer review is still something that is rather arbitrary in Kent, and I suspect in theatre circles around the South East.

There are instinctive (and logical) protective barriers to inviting a peer to review new work, but compounding this there are few guidelines about the way in which critiqueing might benefit both critic and practitioner. The ‘how to do it and thrive’ or even ‘ how to do it and not fall out’

I wonder if there is scope for to apply an Action Learning Set mechanism to help

people feel that the action of peer critique can happen in a safe and constructive space, and that there are mutually understood processes that can support this? In the meantime I think me and myself are great.
Submitted by Tania Holland Williams


trust, suspicion, peer, Trust, review, critique