The Bath Chronicle has stated that it is no longer going to print performance reviews from any venue except for the Theatre Royal, and will put a limited number of reviews from other venues on their website. They will be explaining further at a public meeting on Monday 8th October 17.30 - 19.30 at the Mission Theatre. If you plan on attending, or have a question that you would like to asked on your behalf, please respond to the Facebook event page or e-mail info(at)theatrebath.co.uk. Places are filling up, so please get in contact with them ASAP if you are intending to go.
Bath has a diverse and exciting art culture that goes way beyond the Theatre Royal. The Mission Theatre, Chapel Arts Centre, Rondo Theatre and others also put on great theatre talent. The nearby Komedia has built a reputation for putting on well-known and rising stars on the stand-up scene, and also as a music venue, playing host to a number of well-known names of the past couple of years including The Levellers, Ash, Julian Cope, Stiff Little Fingers and Half-Man, Half-Biscuit. Moles and the Porter Bar have for years championed up and coming talent, and further diversity on the Bath live music scene is brought by smaller venues such as The Bell, The Royal Oak and The Green Park Tavern - and even more venues feature occasional live music as well as DJ sets, performance poetry and stand-up comedy. Artists - in particular up and coming artists - often struggle to get themselves promoted. Having performed onstage with various acts a few times myself over the years, I found that decent reviews are a lifeline to struggling artists - they can bring in more people at future events and can help considerably in persuading a venue to let you play for half-decent fee (or at all).
This ludicrous policy could harm the Bath live performance scene. All of the local artists I have spoken to about this can't believe that it's even being considered. The Theatre Royal is not everyone's cup of tea, and the Bath Chronicle need to realise this. Please attend the meeting (or submit a question) if you can, or write a letter to them.