Writing Task (go to Checklist)

Writing Paper Part 2. Task Type: Review of an Arts Performance

You have seen the following announcement in your local arts magazine:


What has been the best performance this year in your local area? It could be a concert or a stage play, or perhaps an art or craft exhibition. You can make your nomination by sending us a review of what you have seen, telling us why you think it was the most outstanding performance of the year.

Write your review for the magazine editor. (Around 220-260 words).

What you need to do to pass
Read our checklist first to understand what the examiner is
looking for in a good answer.

Ideas for writing
Ask yourself the following questions to help you get started:

  • Are you going to write about a concert, a stage play or an exhibition? Write down the full title if you can and make a note of the people involved in the performance and where it took place.
  • Make a list of the reasons why you have nominated the performance. (This will form the main part of your review.)
  • Are there any negative points? (Although the review should be mainly about the positive aspects you can acknowledge any criticisms, as long as the overall impression remains positive.)
    e.g. "Although the performance was a little long at three hours, the audience remained captivated the whole time..."
  • Did other people enjoy it as much as you? What was the atmosphere like at the performance? Think of some good adjectives to describe what is was like being there.
    e.g. an electric atmosphere, the audience was totally involved..
  • Conclude your review with a summing-up of the performance that will be memorable to the reader:
    E.g. "I believe that .... will come to be seen as one of the best plays of the year, if not the decade."

Drafting and proofreading your work

You should look at your first draft of the task and decide:

  • Have you included all the essential information about the performance?
  • Is the layout and organisation of your review appropriate?
  • Is the language accurate with a good range of structures and some well-chosen adjectives?
  • Is the style consistent?
  • Will the reader enjoy reading your review?

If the answer is 'no' to any of these questions then you will need to do some more drafting!