About this blog

In December 2010 Ellie Dawes made a New Year’s resolution that in 2011 she would see 52 plays. She started a blog called 52plays where she documented the plays she saw that year, writing reviews and general comments about the shows and the things she was finding out about theatre.

After the year was over, the blog had some followers, some theatre companies who liked Ellie to review their productions and Ellie had a space to tell people about things she thought were interesting or important to the world of theatre.

So Ellie decided to carry on writing the blog, and in July 2013 she moved it here, renamed it and redesigned it with help from Kimberley Pryor and Alfie. The new site publishes reviews from other experienced theatre writers too.

All for your delight

The title is a quote from Peter Quince’s stumbling prologue in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s a fitting name because we don’t just love professional theatre, we love amateur theatre too. Theatre is about telling stories and sharing ideas on stage, and we think that when an amateur group gets on stage the skill and passion they display will often best the most highly regarded west end productions. As Quince’s mechanicals show in spectacular style: a production doesn’t have to be perfect to be brilliant.

About Ellie

My parents met at an amateur theatre company and I started getting involved in amdram when I was about 7. I love performing in amateur productions, though I have never had any acting aspirations. I am good at reading and studying plays though, so when I left school I went off to the University of Kent and read English and Drama and graduated with first class honours. Since then I have found myself in Croydon and directed and acted in numerous productions, some of which I am particularly proud. During the day time I work on the digital content and social media type stuff for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, including the copy for Pledgeit. I also write reviews for events website RemoteGoat and occasionally blog for the Huffington Post. Lately I’ve been having fun performing some of my own poetry at Rhymes with Orange. I love words in general, and plays in particular. Follow me on Twitter @MrsJelly.

Our reviews

We would love to review your production, please get in touch. Let us know the details, including your contact details and the dates and location of the show, and if possible we will send an experienced and knowledgeable reviewer. We ask that you provide 2 comps for the show. In return we will write you an honest, constructive review that will appear online in a timely fashion (usually within 1-2 days.)

Comment on Ellie’s write-up for a previous show:
“Ellie wrote a completely unsolicited and extremely positive review of one of SOOP’s productions for the online listings site RemoteGoat. Besides the generosity of the critique, I was struck by the eloquent and articulate writing style, and impressed by the way she was able to write about what she was seeing within a wider context, clearly demonstrating a knowledge and intelligence beyond the subject she was writing about. Her words managed to capture concisely the spirit and nature of the subject matter in a way that would be extremely helpful and informative for a reader with no knowledge of the play or production.

“Having since read other reviews Ellie has written, I can say that this quality of communication is found consistently in her other work. She is clearly able to write about each event on its own merits, and remains open-minded enough to accept a huge array of artistic styles and creative pursuits without prejudice.” – Nathan Chapman, Creative Director of SOOP Theatre

We’d also like suggestions about what theatre to see, particularly in and around London, please comment and let us know if you have seen something great!

If you would be interested in reviewing for this website, please email Ellie with a sample of your writing at ellie_dawes@hotmail.com.