OffComm / OffFest – Reviewers / Assessors

Awards for Independent Theatre

OffComm for short run shows / OffFest for shows at Festivals

Guidelines as at August 2023



These awards recognise and celebrate independent & alternative theatre across the UK: shows in London with fewer than 10 performances; independent theatre anywhere in the UK, and theatre at recognised Festivals – e.g. Brighton Fringe, Camden Fringe, Greater Manchester Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe.


The OffComm award is available to theatre across the UK, excluding shows presented at Fringe festivals for which an OffFest is available (note that the reviews submitted to be considered for an OffComm must be within the same calendar year)

OffFest nominations are linked to the run of a show at a specific festival – this is so we can, in due course, announce finalists and a winner for each festival from the OffFest nominations at that festival.  Therefore we need two 4-5* reviews for a show’s run at one of these festivals.  This could mean that a show could receive more than one OffFest  nomination if it is presented at more than one festival, and if it receives at least two 4-5* reviews at each festival.


If your show has received 2 or more 4-5* reviews from recognised reviewers, email the name of the show, the dates & venues, and links to the reviews to

We will check these and your show will then receive an OffComm award or an OffFest nomination. 

You will be emailed confirmation of the award or nomination, with the relevant badge to use in your future marketing, the show will be listed on the Offies online database of all nominations and awards (, and we will make an announcement via social media.

Please note that these awards and nominations are for the overall show – at this time, there are no separate OffComms or OffFests for performance, design, direction, etc.

Some reviewers do not award stars – in these cases, we will read the review and make a decision as to whether the review is the equivalent of a 4-5* review.  Please do not submit non-starred reviews which are less than enthusiastic about the show.

For certain Festivals, there will be finalists selected from the nominations, and a winner announced either at the end of the Festival, or at the annual Offies Awards Ceremony in February.


You can submit reviews from any of the reviewers or reviews websites listed below.  The list below contains a hyperlink to their website and a note of their geographical coverage.   

If other reviewers – from anywhere in the UK – would like to be included on this list, you must have a publicly accessible website or blog and there must be evidence of reviews on a regular basis for at least the last 12 months.  For more information, please email:

Note that all reviewers accredited by the Brighton & Edinburgh Fringe festivals are automatically accredited for the OffFest for those festivals.


To be eligible for an OffComm, your show must have a minimum of 3 performances at a single venue in London or elsewhere in the UK.  The show may have additional performances at the same or different venues.  Note that reviews for an OffComm cannot include any received for performances at one of the festivals covered by the OffFest.

To be eligible for an OffFest, your show must have a minimum of 3 performances at one of the eligible festivals (including the Brighton, Manchester, Camden and Edinburgh fringe festivals).  As noted above, if your show is being presented at several festivals, you can submit 2 or more reviews from each festival – if these additional reviews are accepted, your show could receive an OffFest for each of two or more festivals.

You are welcome to invite the relevant reviewers from the list below to your show – though please note that reviewers are likely to receive many more invitations than they can possibly accept.  Invitations should be sent at least 2-3 weeks prior to the opening performance.  When sending your invitation, you may wish to tell them that you would like your show to be considered for an OffComm or OffFest award.

You should be able to find the relevant email to contact these reviewers from the website provided in the list below.  If you are having problems, we can provide a list of emails for a selection of these reviewers – if you would like a copy of this email list, please email


2ndfromBottom / / London

Adventures in Theatreland / / London, North West England, North Wales 

Broadway Baby / / London, UK-wide, and most festivals (including Brighton, Camden, Manchester, Edinburgh)

Broadway World / / (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Edinburgh Guide / Edinburgh

Elaine Chapman / / London, Edinburgh Fringe

Everything Theatre / / London, Camden Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe

London Theatre 1 / / London, Brighton & Edinburgh Fringes

Longstaff Reviews / / London

Lost in Theatreland / / London, Midlands, Manchester, Scotland

LPT Reviews / London (note that they only review shows in pub theatres)

NorthWestEnd / / London, Manchester, Merseyside, Edinburgh, Glasgow

Number 9 / / Manchester, corridor from Merseyside to Hull, London, Birmingham & Black Country, occasionally West Yorkshire, Blackpool, Sheffield, definitely covering Greater Manchester & Buxton Fringe Festivals.

The Play’s The Thing / / London / NOTE: stepping back from reviewing until December 2023

The Review Chap / / London

The Reviews Hub / London

The Stage / UK wide

The Spy in the Stalls /  / London & surrounding areas, some Festivals (e.g. Camden Fringe)

Theatre News 

Theatre Things / / London

There Ought to be Clowns / / London, including Camden Fringe

West End Best Friend / / London / /