Review of a play [from Print source using APA 5th ed.]


This source is not covered by the APA style manual. Check with your lecturer before using this suggestion which is based on APA style.

A review of a play is very much like a journal article, except that a description of form and content is given in the reference, in square brackets. If the review has no title, move the descriptive element [Review of the play, etc. - see below] into the title position, and retain the square brackets to indicate that the contents are a description of form and content, not a title. It you are reviewing more than one play in your work, cite the title of each play.  If you are reviewing one play, it is not necessary to repeat the title when you cite it in your work.  For differences in style of a newspaper, magazine or journal article reference, see the appropriate pages for articles appearing in these types of source.

Standard Form

Author, Initials. (year). Title of review. [Review of the play Title of the play], Journal title. volume number - if there is one (part or issue number),start and end page numbers of article.


Basset, K. (2006, October 15). The Weimar Republic: Ann Summers style [Review of the play King Lear]. Independent on Sunday, p.10.

Potter, L. (1992). A brave new Tempest [Review of the play The Tempest]. Shakespeare Quarterly, 43(4), 450-455.

Citation in Text

The effect of watching Shakespeare in translation (Basset, 2006, p.10) is such as to require a metaphorical health warning ...

... possible pessimistic interpretation of the play (Potter, 1992, p. 450) derives from ...


  • If the review appeared in a magazine or journal modify the details appropriately.
  • In the first example above, the review is of two separate productions; the title of the review refers to the first, though the citation is for the second.