The Play’s the Thing UK aims to cover a wide range of performance genres and styles, with a focus on small-scale and fringe theatre. This is the lifeblood of UK theatre and performing arts, but it is also the work least likely to receive newspaper reviews. The Play’s the Thing UK wants to provide small and emerging companies with the coverage they need and deserve, and publish those reviews alongside those of larger companies and venues.

Reviewing Policy & Disclaimer: The Play’s the Thing UK is happy to accept press tickets to review your production, but complimentary tickets do not guarantee a complimentary review. We write unbiased, informed reviews that offer a critical evaluation of the production and thoughts to potential audiences.

The Play’s the Thing UK schedules on a first-come, first serve basis. Founding editor Laura Kressly sees as much as she can, and anything she is unable to see will be passed to a team of guest critics.

Contact for press releases: hello [at] theplaysthethinguk [dot] com. Please aim for at least a  month’s lead time on invitations, though we may be able to cover shows at a shorter notice.

Founding EdDSC_0163_miniitor, Laura Kressly: I am an immigrant from the New York City suburbs who relocated to the UK in 2004. I trained as an actor and director at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City and the University of Exeter where I specialized in Shakespeare performance and directing. I then moved to London in 2006 to pursue an acting career. After working as an actor for a few years, I moved into directing and producing and co-founded a fringe theatre company that I ran from 2009 to 2014.

I started writing reviews for Remotegoat and everything theatre since 2013 and founded The Play’s the Thing UK in February of 2015. I am also an Offies super-assessor and co-founder of the Network of Independent Critics. I am particularly interested in Shakespeare and classical theatre, socio-political adaptations and deconstructions of classical work, and text-based new writing. I actively champion work that addresses the need for representation in theatre.

Do you value my writing? The Play’s The Thing UK is completely unfunded.  Whilst donations are never expected, they are hugely appreciated and will allow more time to be spent reviewing theatre productions of all sizes. Click her to sponsor me on patreon.

Many thanks to site patrons Adam Morley and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm for their support.

5 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Laura

    I am getting in touch with you as I am a PhD candidate at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) working on English literature, in particular on newspapers and digital London drama reviews. I have gathered over 40,000 reviews, from 2010 to 2020, and I am examining the discourses produced by two literary communities: that of print newspapers and and that of digital blogs. Data science technology and techniques allow me to modelize the collection and study it on a wide scale, so as to better understand the differences and similarities between the two communities.

    My research is not over yet but I have already obtained interesting results. For example, my analyses show that bloggers tend to use the pronoun « I » twice in their reviews, which indicates a subjective discourse. Concerning the locations of the performances, there are twice as many theatres in the digital collection as there are in the print collection, which makes us think bloggers give a more diversified vision of drama culture.

    You can access these first results on the following website: https://dramacritiques.com/fr/accueil/ It is a work in progress – concerning both my analyses and the presentation of information – but it should give you an overview of my project. I have also created a search engine from which you can access all the reviews.

    I would now like to share my collection with the academic world, so that all students could have access to my data and discover the fringe theatrical culture advertised in the digital reviews. I would like your permission to share your data (name, publishing date, title of the play, the location where it was performed, as well as your review). It would be open access data (not for-profit) and used for academic purposes only.

    I am aware data sharing is a sensitive topic nowadays and I am available should you have any concern. I would be very happy to meet you, either in London or via Skype or Zoom, if you had time to tell me more about your vision of British drama.

    Best regards

    Mylène Maignant


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