Review writing can be tricky. You might love a record or a film or a book soooooo much – but how do you possibly pack all the positive energy you’re feeling into one snappy write-up?! Look through our review of Olivia Rodrigo’s debut London show for some clues – then have a go at writing something of your own…

Olivia Rodrigo: Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London, 6th June 2022

This might be her London debut, but anyone’s who been paying attention will know what to expect from an Olivia Rodrigo show by now: a set bursting with songs about heartbreak, an audience that knows the words to every one of those songs better than they know the names of their own family members and A LOT of purple.

Tonight, at Hammersmith Apollo, we get ALL of those things – and it’s a thrill. Rodrigo’s energy is infectious. Whether she’s singing about eating ice cream, listening to Billy Joel records or parallel parking, she makes sure her entire set fizzes like a shaken can of Coke.

The pulsating ‘brutal’ sets the tone. Rodrigo delivers each lyric with perfect pitch and the effect is mesmerising. From that point on, the highlights come too quickly to count: the way the singer’s melodies flutter around the venue, the way her silver dress glitters underneath the rotating disco ball, the way she makes herself heard despite the noise of 3,500 people yelling along – all of these things combine to create a feeling that we’ve fallen into some kind of fairytale universe.

The sense that we’ve stepped out of our real lives is underlined further when Natalie Imbruglia joins Rodrigo on stage for a spectacular rendition of ‘Torn’. Then again when ‘good 4 u’ explodes into life. Then again when the room fills with confetti. With the lights flashing and those lavender-coloured pieces of paper falling down on us like snow, it’s the immaculate ending to the most exhilarating night of our lives.


Find examples of the creative and persuasive techniques we chose to give this review as much punch as possible. Look for:

  • Metaphor
  • Repetition
  • Alliteration
  • Hyperbole
  • Lively vocabulary choices (e.g. powerful adjectives)
  • Personal pronouns
  • Simile
  • List of 3


Write your own review of a song, album, concert, film or book!

Follow the colour-coded structure that we’ve followed above. It’s certainly not the only way to lay out a review but it’s the method we’re practising today!

Paragraph 1: Establish where we are in your artist’s career and then list out 3 exciting things we might expect from that artist.

  • Possible sentence structure:
  • This might be (his/her first/fifth/hundredth album/show/novel) but/and anyone who’s been paying attention will know what to expect from (name of artist) by now:

Paragraph 2: Note whether or not the artist seems to meet those expectations with this latest piece of work. List out 3 things you like about this new work and summarise the effect of those things.

  • Possible sentence structure:
  • Tonight/On this new album/In this latest novel, we get (all of those things/some of those things/none of those things). (Artist’s name) energy is (describe the energy). Whether she’s/he’s (singing/writing) about

Paragraph 3: Focus on something you love about the start of this new piece of work (e.g. the opening song or the opening chapter). Then list three other good things about this new work.

  • Possible sentence structure:
  • The (pulsating/atmospheric/beautiful etc.) opening sets the tone. (Artist’s name) delivers each (lyric/word with perfect pitch/absolute accuracy etc.) and the effect is (mesmerising/hyptonising/shocking/thought-provoking etc.). From that point on, the highlights come too quickly to count: the way … , the way …, the way…

Paragraph 4: Link to three more things you like about the work and then finish with a strong concluding statement that sums up the impact of the work you’ve been reviewing.

  • Possible sentence structure:
  • The sense that we’ve (stepped out of our real lives/are reading the best novel ever/are listening to a record about real life etc.) is underlined further when… Then again when… Then again when…

Once you’re done, you can send your ideas (or questions) in. We want to publish the most exciting writing and offer advice.

Then have a go at sketching out another review with Taylor Swift!