Should theatre critics applaud?

Granted I have not been to the theatre for a while. I was reminiscing over the shows that I did see in 2017 and was thinking about my experiences in the theatre and how every time I saw a show I clapped.

Whether I liked the performance or not, I still would join in with the audience and stand up and clap.

Which I guess shows how I felt towards the performance and defeats the point of me doing the review.

I have only ever once not clapped at a performance because I really did not enjoy it. And boy did I get looked at by the other audiences members, I felt terrible for it.

So perhaps clapping is just a polite gesture?

As a theatre reviewer I do it now for that reason, but then again nobody but me and my plus one know that I am a reviewer so I suppose if I do clap it does not matter.

But then again that is not the point, I should not have to applaud just because I feel like I am obliged to. I should only clap if I feel it fit (or should I) because I will be doing a write up of the show afterwards, should I be physically expressing my opinion of the performance by putting two hands together?

I am not sure it is a tough one.

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