Do you enjoy seeing films and productions of all genres at your local theatre? Maybe you fancy yourself as a critic? If so, the Torch at Milford Haven would like to hear from you!

Do you take notes of important details about a movie … its technical elements, characters and story lines? Currently, the Torch Theatre has two regular reviewers who write about shows and films that they have seen at the Torch. Their reviews are then translated to the Welsh language and both versions are published on the Theatre’s website for all to read.

Val Ruloff from Pembroke has been a Torch Theatre reviewer for nearly a year. She really enjoys visiting the Torch and writing her views for others to read: “It’s a new experience for me and I don’t have any journalistic background. I really enjoy watching performances and I hope my opinions are very valuable for other people to read. The Torch is very precious here in Pembrokeshire and when I was approached to ask if I could make some of my comments known and to give my feedback, I agreed and it’s all gone from there.”

Riley, 12, is the theatre’s youngest reviewer. He enjoys watching new films, especially action ones that are full of excitement such as Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 and Spiderman Across the Spiderverse. His first ever review was Matilda the Musical.

Riley, who can't wait for the new Transformers film to be released, said: “I do love contributing to the Torch Theatre. It’s great to see my reviews on the website, and great that people take my advice on what movie to watch. My teachers and friends at school read my reviews and go and see them because of my review and that’s a really good feeling. It’s good to be part of a system to promote them.”

The Torch Theatre is looking for more enthusiastic people to review plays, shows and films for them.

Chelsey Gillard, Torch Theatre’s Artistic Director said: “We’d like a wide spectrum of people with varying interests to become critics and reviewers. In return for their reviews (which they email to us a couple of days after their visit) they get two free tickets to come to shows/ films of their choice. It really is a great opportunity to get their reviews published on-line for all to see. They will also be invited to press nights for Torch productions.”

Chelsey joined the Torch Theatre in 2022 and if it was not for her love of reviewing theatre productions, her career could have easily taken another path.

“I first started reviewing shows when I was 19. I’d dropped out of university and didn’t know what direction I wanted to go with my life. A scheme was set up in my hometown to see a show and review it and signed up. The show was Gary Owen’s Love Steals Us From Loneliness staged by National Theatre Wales in a local rock club. It was the first time I’d seen new writing or seen a show in a non-traditional theatre space. I think Gary still hasn’t forgiven me for the review (sorry Gary!)

“Seeing lots of shows across south Wales captured my imagination and I ended up going back to university to study English and Drama. I saw such a variety of shows that really developed my artistic taste and there are shows I saw over 10 years ago that I still reference in my rehearsal processes now. I developed my critical thinking, and it gave me a real appreciation of all the different elements that go into making a show.

“Now as I director I really appreciate reviews of my work. I believe theatre should be a conversation with the audience, so it’s great to find out what people think. Sometimes other people can see things in a show that you’ve never noticed before or give you a new appreciation of certain themes in the play. It can hurt when negative reviews come out, but I have to remind myself you can’t please everyone and that art is subjective!“

If you’d like to become a reviewer at the Torch Theatre, contact Charlotte Spencer on [email protected]