Olivia Edwards is a finalist studying English at Teddy Hall. She was co-editor of The Oxford Theatre Review last term and worked as a producer on Just Two People.
What do you do at The Oxford Theatre Review?
“I used to co-edit the OTR. This term, Imogen and I, the other co-editor, have stepped back a little and handed the editing responsibilities on. We are trying to turn it into a business so we have been going to lots of Oxford Entrepeneurs events and are just there for the editors to give advice if they need it. We want OTR to be more of a professional platform for students.”
How different was OTR when you started working on it?
“OTR existed as an idea. But we rebuilt the website and remarketed it in 2009 and we launched it at fresher’s fair that year. Something new that we did was to send two reviewers rather than just one to opening nights. We also send out a calendar of events for the week to everyone on our mailing list. It was our idea to expand beyond theatre and include reviews of comedy shows and speakers. We are trying to include reviews on music this term as well, not so much gigs, but performance pieces or events at the Sheldonian.”
What makes a good reviewer?
“Having a degree of diplomacy. Students are putting in so much effort – you have to remember that. It is different to reviewing professional shows. You have to be accountable for what you write on a website because we have a comments feedback section. When you set up something interactive it is different to just writing in print. At the same time though, it’s not about making friends or just being nice to people you know. You have to be fair. ”
Which playwrights, actors and styles of theatre do you enjoy?
“ I like Tom Stoppard but more so to read than to watch. And I think Carey Mulligan and Audrey Hepburn are fantastic”.
What are you looking forward to this term?
“I’m looking forward to The Seagull. And I’d like to see The Children’s Hour in London and King Lear before it goes.”
You produced for the first time last term. Is that something you’d like to do more of?
“It was fun and I enjoyed working on a piece of new writing. I learnt a lot from it, but I will probably just continue with the OTR. If I had more time I would, but I’m in final year now.”