My Theatre Mates are your Theatre Mates. But who are we exactly? Here’s a little more about the myriad theatre bloggers who have contributed to the site so far.
Click on each Mate’s title name in their bio box to see their full author pages and contributions to date.
Would you like to join our collective of theatre bloggers to have your work showcased on our site and social media channels? Click here to find out more about how to become a Mate.
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously, Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowned for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
Mark Shenton has been a full-time freelance London-based theatre critic and journalist since 2002, and is proud to have co-founded MyTheatreMates with Terri Paaddock. He has variously (and sometimes simultaneously) been chief theatre critic for the Sunday Express, The Stage, WhatsOnStage, What's On in London magazine and LondonTheatre.co.uk. He has taught at ArtsEd London in Chiswick on musical theatre history since 2012. He was until recently President of the Critics' Circle, and is also on the board of Mercury Musical Developments and the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF). You can follow him on Twitter @ShentonStage, and on instagram at @ShentonStage. His personal website is www.shentonstage.com.
Aleks Sierz FRSA is a theatre critic, and author of the seminal study of new 1990s playwrights, In-Yer-Face Theatre. His other books include Rewriting the Nation, The Theatre of Martin Crimp, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights and Modern British Playwriting. His latest book (co-authored with Lia Ghilardi) is The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, and lecturer. Aleks blogs independently at www.sierz.co.uk and tweets at @alekssierz.
Alun Hood has been at the theatre on a regular basis since the age of 8. He has seen upwards of 3000 stage productions, mainly in London but also in New York, Paris, Sydney, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Chichester, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and, er, Croydon. He’ll go anywhere for a bit of live action and red plush. Alun studied Drama & English at University of London and has worked in theatre all his professional life. In addition to his personal blog, he reviews for WhatsOnStage and was a 2016/7 theatre panellist for the Laurence Olivier Awards. He’s on Twitter at alunjohnhood.
Amy Toledano is a passionate and avid advocate of new writing and theatre in the UK and abroad. Writing her first play Submit/Us, in 2017, Amy has gone on to write poetry for online magazine Fearless Femme, as well as writing for The Plays the Thing blog for fellow MyTheatreMate Laura Kressly. She started her own site www.withinherwords.co.uk in 2018. Alongside this, Amy is a performer herself and has appeared in shows at the Tristan Bates and the Bread & Roses Theatres, and continues to create and promote exciting new work.
Andrew Keates is a multi award-winning director. His West End credits include: As Is (Trafalgar Studios), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Charing Cross Theatre), Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios). Other credits include: Chinglish (Park Theatre), Steve Furst: In Character, Rooms: a rock romance (Finborough Theatre), A Winter’s Tale, The Thing About Men and The Hired Man (Landor Theatre), Bent, Just So (Tabard Theatre). Andrew was the theatre manager and artistic consultant of the Landor Theatre for over three years. He is the current artistic director of Arion Productions, through which he launched the Show People Podcast in 2017. The free bi-weekly podcast shines a spotlight on the UK performing arts industry and to those dedicated to their craft within it. It's on Twitter at @ShowPeopleUK. In addition, Andrew tweets at @andrewkeates and his personal website is www.andrewkeates.co.uk.
Andrew Wright is an award-winning choreographer, whose myriad credits from the West End, Chichester, Bath, Leicester and elsewhere, include: Mrs Henderson Presents, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, 42nd Street, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, High Society, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, Saturday Night Fever, A Little Night Music, Follies, Oliver!, The Showgirl Within, Almost Like Being In Love, Stepping Out, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, By Jeeves, I Sing and Soul Traders. He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour), for which he was nominated for Best Director/Choreographer in the Broadway World Awards 2014. Andrew was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed. He blogs at a-wright.com and tweets at @AndrewWright5.
Anne Cox is a journalist and blogger with more than 35 years’ experience and a passion for the theatre. Over the years, she has covered am-dram, regional and national theatre. As a critic for her own site Stage Review, she now reviews professional productions within about a two-hour drive of her home patch of Bedfordshire - from the RSC in Stratford, through the Home Counties and London to Chichester. She now runs her independent theatre website Stage Review and tweets @stage_review.
Annie Davey is a Terri Paddock Group intern, working across MyTheatreMates and sister site StageFaves. She's been in love with theatre for as long as she can remember and enjoys combining it with her love of English and review writing. She is also studying with LAMDA and taking regular performing arts exams.
Carole Woddis has been a theatre journalist and critic for over 30 years. She was London reviewer and feature writer for Glasgow’s The Herald for 12 years and for many other newspapers and magazines. She has contributed to other websites including The Arts Desk, Reviews Gate and London Grip and now blogs independently at woddisreviews.org.uk. Carole is also the author of: The Bloomsbury Theatre Guide with Trevor T Griffiths; a collection of interviews with actresses, Sheer Bloody Magic (Virago), and Faber & Faber’s Pocket Guide to 20th Century Drama with Stephen Unwin. For ten years, she was a Visiting Tutor in Journalism at Goldsmiths College and for three years with City University. Earlier in her career, she worked with the RSC, National Theatre, Round House and Royal Ballet as a publicist and as an administrator for other theatre and dance organisations.
Having been a performer for many years, Caroline knows first hand how much the support of a good audience is valued, appreciated and needed. She is passionate about all performing art, but has a particular interest in new writing and Off-West End productions. Having reviewed for other publications, she set up her website, Carn’s Theatre Passion, to provide more exposure for these areas, as well as news, views, interviews and information on all stage-related matters.
Charlotte Peters is a theatre director who, before the virus changed the world, was Associate on the international tours of War Horse and An Inspector Calls and due to direct new comedy Another Mother at the Park Theatre. Charlotte co-runs Brickdust who are currently developing a site-specific horror. Since the world shifted, Charlotte’s been working on online projects including a Brickdust monologue by Lucy Nichol for Coronavirus Theatre Club and Jon Gracey’s The Ultimatum Game, which premiered on Twitch. Teaching piano on Zoom has also been keeping her sane, along with learning to relax for the first time in years! Charlotte is married to Jefferson Turner, one half of Dan & Jeff, who created the internationally acknowledged Potted Potter, currently in ‘residence’ in Las Vegas, and Potted Panto, most recently at Southwark Playhouse. In their early days, Dan & Jeff were also CBBC presenters, which gives Charlotte immense joy. As director of his own company, Jeff has just had to make the difficult decision to furlough himself as an employee, meaning he can’t do any work. As a writer, this means life is 95% the same as it was before lockdown. He’s, therefore, spending these new times running, and throwing darts in the garage-turned-pub. Charlotte and Jeff generally only see each other a few times a week so these new times hold a brand new experience for their marriage! They're on Twitter (and Instagram) at CharlottePeterz and ActorJeff.
Chris Grady is a creative and business life coach who has worked in arts and project management for more than 30 years, running marketing departments and creating festivals and theatres in Bristol, Plymouth, Edinburgh, Buxton, Keswick, London and Bury St Edmonds. He has also run the Vivian Ellis Prize for new musicals, and written Your Life in Theatre, a careers guide for all stages of your career. He is preparing an MA for Theatre Producers with Mountview Academy for Theatre Arts. Chris blogs about arts management at www.chrisgrady.org.
Darren Ross is a writer whose recent short plays include: Finish With A Trip to the Gift Shop (The Lion and Unicorn Theatre), A Copy of a Copy of a Copy of a Copy (The Front Room Space, Croydon) and Sorry, My Compassion Is On The Blink (part of The Science Fiction Theatre Festival at The Pleasance Theatre). He's also web developer and is the technical lead on MyTheatreMates.com and our sister site StageFaves.com.
Debbie Gilpin stumbled into writing about theatre when she moved to London after studying for a degree in Human Genetics at Newcastle University. She started her website Mind the Blog in November 2014 and also tweets from @Mind_the_Blog. She spent the best part of 2014-16 inadvertently documenting Sunny Afternoon in the West End, and now also writes for BroadwayWorld UK. Debbie’s theatre passions are Shakespeare and new writing, but she’s also a sucker for shows with a tap routine.
Dominic Cavendish is the lead theatre critic for The Daily Telegraph. He is the founding editor of the audio archive theatrevoice.com. His personal website Criticalmuse.com is for further theatrical musings, alongside an archive of some published articles. He tweets regularly at @domcavendish.
A prolific broadcaster, writer and journalist as well as a self-confessed ‘musical theatre obsessive’, Edward has interviewed everyone from Bernstein to Liza Minnelli, Paul McCartney to Pavarotti, Julie Andrews to Andrew Lloyd Webber. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen. He also regularly produces podcast interviews with notable theatrical artists and makes regular appearances on the BBC Radio 2 Arts Show, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, where he presented the 2007 series of the music quiz Counterpoint. He has published books on Gustav Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, is a regular critic for Gramophone Magazine and Opern Welt and a founder member of The Arts Desk. He also blogs independently at www.edwardseckerson.biz and tweets at @seckerson.
Elaine Chapman an English graduate from Winchester University. By day a mother and business owner. By night an avid theatregoer enjoying the world of reviewing theatre and films from an audience perspective.
Emily Garside is an academic and theatre writer. Following a PhD in depictions of HIV/AIDS in theatre, she decided to move on from academic writing to take her writing about theatre to a wider audience. By day a research advisor and by night theatre writer, playwright and lover of all things theatre. Emily blogs at emilygarside.com and tweets at @EmiGarside.
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
Fairy Powered Productions is a website set up by lifelong theatre lover Susan Lindsay to cover news, views, interviews and reviews. A place for all things theatrical, it concentrates on the talent appearing in the regions as well as the West End.
Florence Andrews trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music, where she won the Cameron Mackintosh Award, before being lucky enough to graduate straight into Trevor Nunn's production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music' at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and then at the West End’s Garrick Theatre. Since then, Florence’s credits, mainly in the West End, have included Annie Get Your Gun, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Wizard of Oz, Dandy Dick, Wicked, Once, Miss Atomic Bomb, and originating the role of Rosalie Mullins in School Of Rock. Florence has also appeared as a soloist both internationally and at venues closer to home such as the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall, and is a seasoned session singer when she's not camping it up on the stage. She is a mother of two little'uns, and exploring different mixes of tonic and spirit in order to support her new, somewhat challenging, side hustle as a home educator during lockdown. You can also #GetSocial with Florence on our sister site StageFaves.com.
Helen McWilliams is a Midlands-based reviewer, but is happy travelling anywhere and everywhere to pursue her love of the theatre. Since 2013, she has been combining her passions for writing and theatre in her Entertainment Views site (formerly Break A Leg). She also enjoys interviewing actors, writers and other professionals from the business.
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
Iestyn is an award-winning vaudeville performer, published journalist and poet. He is in the line-up of The Stage at Cafe de Paris Saturday performances, is the first-cast variety act on the international Evening of Burlesque tour, and also tours his self-written double bill My Tutu's Gone AWOL! His blog, “My Days in the Frills, lives at iestynedwards.blogspot.co.uk and he tweets at @iestynedwards and, as his alter-ego, at @madamegalina.
John Chapman works as a freelance education consultant, writer and copy editor. Prior to this, he was an Assistant Headteacher specialising in English and Drama. John first took to the stage as a schoolboy pretending to be a Latin frog. Decades later, he has been involved with 150+ productions, usually as an actor or director. He is currently a member of Tower Theatre in Stoke Newington, London. In 2016, he was in their “mechanicals” team that worked as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play For The Nation, appearing both at the Barbican and in Stratford-upon-Avon. In 2004, he served as a panellist on the Olivier Awards; he is currently an Offies assessor. He reviews for a variety of websites, writes his own independent blog 2ndFromBottom about his theatrical life.
Justin Murray is a director and theatremaker whose work has been seen nationally and internationally. He recently directed The Wizard Of Oz at The Scoop in More London Riverside as part of London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season. Justin was associate director of Actors of Dionysus for whom he directed Antigone (R&D and national tour). Justin is artistic director of Catharsis and has directed their previous five shows, Hippolytus (Hope Theatre), Hecuba (White Bear Theatre), purged (Brighton Fringe), The Complete Greek Tragedies (In One Hour) (Rosemary Branch) and Ashurbanipal (The Crypt Gallery). As associate director: FILTH (Camden Fringe) and Rounds (Southwark Playhouse / Bolton Octagon). Other work includes Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Assisting includes Helen for Actors of Dionysus, The Odyssey at More London Riverside, and The Cherry Orchard at The Union Theatre (both for Phil Wilmott).
Kate Gould is an experienced journalist with other 20 years' experience writing across newspapers and magazines, including most recently South London Press. In addition to occasional theatre reviews, Kate specialises in interviews and features. Her myriad celebrity interviews have included Freddie Fox, Gary Barlow, Priscilla Presley, Jason Donovan, Linda Gray, David Baddiel, Jimmy Osmond, Lee Mead, Shaun Dooley, Petula Clark and Paul McGann. She now writes independently at kateinbrockley.blogspot.com/.
Katharine is a circus writer based in the Midlands, a handy travel hub for getting out and about to new and smaller-scale work. From a background as a performer, theatre-maker and circus volunteer, Katharine took part in the EU-funded 'Unpack the Arts' circus residency, set up The Circus Diaries website, and now dedicates herself to sharing the intricacies of circus art with the world. She says: "Circus is an area of performing arts where few people have the vocabulary and understanding to write balanced critical appraisal. This tends to result in wishy-washy 'reviews' that all sound the same and say very little about the relative quality of the show. "As the circus arts grow in popularity and engagement across the UK, it's important for critical voices to reflect this to increasingly discerning audiences. That's where I come in."
Kirsty Herrington is a blogger who fell in love with theatre at a young age and spent the majority of her student loan on tickets to West End Shows while she was at university. She began reviewing regularly for fellow MyTheatreMates’ sites Love London Love Culture, Jonathan Baz Review, London Theatre Reviews and Mind the Blog before setting up her own site From Page to Stage in 2018. With a background in journalism and a keen enthusiasm for both plays and musicals, Kirsty often reviews productions in London and East Anglia. She tweets via @kherrington83.
Kris Hallett is a writer, critic, director and teacher based in Bristol and Bath. From 2010-2014, he was Artistic Director of theatre company Fire Under The Horizon. He has been reviewing theatre in the South West for various publications since 2013. He now publishes on his own Life as Theatre blog. He tweets @krishallett.
Kristy Stott, editor of Upstaged Manchester, is an entertainment journalist, theatre critic and general arts lover. Kristy has been an avid follower of the Manchester theatre scene for as long as she can remember and has written for WhatsOnStage, the Library Theatre Company and Cornerhouse Manchester. Kristy is also news editor and presenter for Trafford Sound community radio.
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
As well as blogging at Glasgow Theatre Blog, Lauren Humphreys is the Scotland Editor at The Reviews Hub (including its Edinburgh Festival Fringe Editor), and has written for Time Out, Groupon City Guide, TV Bomb, Broadway Baby, One Stop Arts and Stay.com as well as contributing to many European travel guides on culture in Scotland’s biggest city. Glasgow Theatre Blog has been voted the No.1 theatre blog in the UK in the Cision Media Rankings, in the Lastminute.com Top Ten and has never been out of the Vuelio Top Ten UK Theatre Blogs since its inception. Lauren has also been the lucky recipient of the Oran Mor, A Play, a Pie and a Pint Critics Circle prize… twice. During the Commonwealth Games in 2014, she was one of 14 bloggers from around the Commonwealth chosen to be part of the official blog “Team 14”, writing about the cultural impact of the games. She teaches a workshop on theatre blogging as part of Glasgow's Tron Theatre Ambassadors programme, for students aged 15-18, encouraging the next generation of arts critics.
Libby Purves was theatre critic for The Times from 2010 to 2013. Determined to continue her theatre commentary after losing that job, she set up her own site www.theatrecat.com in October 2013. She personally reviews all major London openings, usually with on-the-night publication, and also gives voice to a new generation of critics with occasional guest 'theatrekittens'. In addition to her theatre writing and myriad other credits, Libby has been a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek for over 30 years. She is also the author of a dozen novels, and numerous non-fiction titles. In 1999, Libby was appointed an OBE for services to journalism.
An editor, writer and critic, Lisa Martland is the founder of Vuelio top-ranked website Musical Theatre Review which she set up in 2013. She has largely single-handedly developed it into one of the UK’s must-read sites for professionals and expert followers of the sector. In 2018, Lisa also joined the Terri Paddock Group, taking on the role of editor for both MyTheatreMates and our sister musical theatre site Stage Faves. Formerly, she was deputy editor at The Stage Newspaper.
A lifelong fan who's always been far more comfortable watching theatre than making it, Liz Dyer fell into blogging very much by accident after joining the blog team at London Theatre Direct. From there, she began reviewing regularly for LondonTheatre1.com and (fellow Mate) Carn's Theatre Passion, before setting up her own site Theatre Things in 2015 to cover shows across London and Kent. She tweets from her blog at @theatrethingsuk and personally at @lizzid82.
Louise Penn is an experienced writer and editor, published in a variety of outlets. She worked as a professional librarian for 25 years before going freelance full-time in 2018 and setting up her Lou Reviews blog. She is passionate about all types of theatre and the arts.
In love with the city of London (and grateful for all its opportunities), but also with theatre and music, Luca Molinari started his blog London Theatre Reviews in 2018, with the idea of sharing reviews, news and interviews in an easy and accessible way.
Maryam Philpott has run the London-based Cultural Capital blog since 2013, predominantly reviewing theatre, but also exhibitions and special film screenings with a more in-depth and discursive approach. Since 2014, Maryam has also written regularly for The Reviews Hub, reviewing all forms of professional theatre including Fringe and West End, as well as contemporary dance, ballet and opera. She has a background in social and cultural history, and tweets as @culturalcap1.
Matt has been a theatre fan since childhood, regularly visiting theatres in his native Portsmouth and surrounding areas. He has been reviewing for some time, initially for local press outlets before starting his own site, Sitting in the Cheap Seats, in 2013. These days he can generally be found in the front row of the balcony in a theatre in the Southwest (or on trips to London), quietly thankful he is short enough not to notice the lack of legroom!
Matthew Amer joined forces with Terri Paddock in November 2018, working on campaigns across both MyTheatreMates and our sister site StageFaves.com. Most recently, he helped London & Partners launch Theatre.London and, prior to that, worked for 14 years at The Society of London Theatre, on print and online publications, editing OfficialLondonTheatre.com and covering everything from the Olivier Awards to Stage One, and launching everything from blogs to YouTube channels. He also now works as a freelance journalist and digital consultant and tweets at @MattAmer.
StageReviews was launched by theatre critic and writer Michael Davies to offer independent coverage of stage productions across the Midlands and beyond. During a 25-year career in newspaper journalism, Michael was the staff theatre critic for a number of regional publications across the country. His reviews have been published in The Independent, The Stage, the Birmingham Mail and a host of other print titles, as well as online for WhatsOnStage. As a freelance writer, he is a regular contributor of programme notes for venues all over the UK and in the West End and is also an award-winning playwright and lyricist. For more information, visit Michael's personal website at www.mrgdavies.com or follow him on Twitter at @StageReviews and @mrgdavies.
Michael Davis is a former actor and director. He’s passionate about fringe theatre and publicising shows that don’t necessarily receive mainstream attention. He’s previously reviewed for Female Arts and The Play’s the Thing and now runs his own site, Breaking the Fourth Wall. Michael is interested and knowledgeable about all aspects of the arts. He tweets @Michael30517721.
Mike Dixon graduated from Trinity College of Music in 1979. Over the course of his varied and multi-faceted career, Mike has established himself as one of the leading figures in the West End, Television and Radio as Musical Supervisor, Musical Director, Conductor, Arranger and Composer.
Naomi Westerman is a British writer of Middle Eastern heritage. A former anthropologist, she started writing in 2015. She is a graduate of the Criterion Playwriting Programme and Graeae's Write to Play training scheme for disabled writers. Naomi’s credits include Tortoise, Puppy and Sketching (one of the co-writers with James Graham). She was recently shortlisted for the Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award, and is currently an Associate Company Member at the Bush Theatre and under commission to write a new play for them. Naomi is also co-founder of the feminist theatre collective Little but Fierce, and an advocate for disability representation in theatre. She also founded and run the Grassroots project, an outreach initiative to provide free mentoring, workshops and resources for young people from marginalised backgrounds to make their first short films.
Born in London and raised in Ireland, Nick Lambert loves London, where he now lives and works. He set up his blog The London Lark! to celebrate the city, offering reviews of places he’s been and things he’s seen – with a major focus on theatre, his particular interest. As a theatregoer, he’s also been designated a Time Out Tastemaker and regularly posts on Trip Advisor, where he’s amongst the top 1% of reviewers read. He tweets at @NickNickLambert.
Launched in 2012, Not Exactly Billington is a Leicester-based theatre blog run by Adam and Jasmine, who are keen to explore and promote the arts on a national scale while maintaining the importance of regional voices, perspectives and creative endeavours. The couple share blogging responsibilities and often collaborate on reviews, thus giving a broader response. For three years, they also successfully ran the #ReadaPlayaWeek initiative. Each week, they championed a different play, ensuring there was equal representation of male and female writers as part of their advocacy for gender equity and diversity in the arts. They tweet at @NoBillington.
Always surrounded by music from a young age, Olivia Mitchell is currently completing a degree in Classical Singing. To honour her passion for musical theatre in particular, in 2015, she started her blog Rewrite This Story, where she reviews shows, interviews performers and writes about all things theatrical. She tweets via @RewriteThisWeb.
Phil Willmott is a multi-award winning director, playwright, composer, librettist, teacher, dramaturg, arts journalist and actor and currently the editor and chief theatre critic for the commercial ticketing website. LONDONBOXOFFICE.COM. As a theatre maker he has worked in theatres across the world on everything from the classics, musicals and family shows to cabaret and cutting edge new writing. He is the founding artistic director of several multi-award-winning theatre companies including the Finborough Theatre, the Phil Willmott Company, which presents the annual Essential Classics at the Union Theatre; and Gods & Monsters, which, for 15 years, presented the annual London Free Theatre Festival at The Scoop amphitheatre adjacent to London's City Hall. Find out more about Phil at philwillmott.org and on Twitter at @PhilWillmott.
Describing himself, Philip says: "My Twitter profile once said, Actor. Director. Producer. Writer. Arts Ed boy. It now simply says Blogger. In short, I am 5 foot 5 tall. Northern. Gay, and Stagey. I am and have been all of the above." He launched That Stagey Blog in 2018.
The Pint-Sized Playwriting Podcast exists to help emerging playwrights understand how to get ahead in the world of new theatre. It's run by Nick Oliver and Matt Maltby, founders and co-producers of new writing theatre company, Pint-Sized. The company tweets at Pint_Sized_.
Rachel Williams stumbled into blogging entirely by accident and mostly as a way of amusing herself and a couple of theatre-loving friends. Several years and a permanent move to South East England later and blogging at viewfromthecircle.blogspot.com has become a real passion (balanced increasingly precariously with a day job in the charity sector). Theatrical passions include Shakespeare, musicals, new writing, new theatres, James Graham and anything Bertie Carvel happens to be doing.
Revstan really is a reverend (it's amazing what you can buy on the internet) but not a man (the Stan bit is a long story). By day, she is a freelance editor and copywriter; at night, she escapes into the world of theatre and has been blogging about it at theatre.revstan.com since 2007. She says: “I'll watch pretty much anything, from something performed on a stage the size of a tea tray to the West End and beyond. The only exception is musicals. Tried 'em and they just don't do anything positive for me.”
Robbie Durham is an actor/musician from the Scottish Borders, who now lives in London. Trained at Arts Educational School London, Robbie has performed in the West End, UK and international tours. His recent credits include Million Dollar Quartet, High Fidelity and Sunny Afternoon. He also writes his own music, performs solo and with his sister who is also an actor/musician. He plays guitar, piano, bass and (a very little) drums. You can also #GetSocial with Robbie on our sister site StageFaves.com.
Rosie Snell fell in love with Asian theatre and devising while completing her degree in Theatre Arts, Directing. After university, she worked in the West End before taking on a role outside the arts industry. Missing the magic of theatre, she founded her blog Scatter Of Opinion in February 2015. I hope to bring on more guest reviewers to the blog this year. She reviews shows big and small and, with the help of collaborator Greg Spong, accompanies each post with an original illustration. She tweets via @ScatterOpinion.
Shane Morgan is a writer, director, producer and facilitator. He trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and completed an MA at Chichester University. He is Director of RoughHouse Theatre and Associate Director of the Rondo Theatre, Bath. His writing work includes stage adaptations of the Nick Hornby short story NippleJesus and the Daniel Wallace novel Mr Sebastian and the Negro Magician under the title Henry Walker and the Wheel of Death. As director, his credits include The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Hands Up For Jonny Wilkinson’s Right Boot and When The Eye Has Gone. In addition to his personal blog, Shane reviews theatre and comedy for Bristol 24/7 and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Bristol. He tweets at MrShaneMorgan.
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.
Shyama Perera is a novelist and broadcaster. She has been a judge on both the Olivier Awards panel and their Affiliate Awards panel. She ran the Monkey Matters Theatre Reviews website for six years and reviewed for local papers and BBC London before realising it’s much more fun being part of a lively team. She is delighted to be one of My Theatre Mates.
Simon is a Melbourne-based theatregoer and critic, who reviewed for many years for Theatre People and the Sunday Herald Sun. He has also acted, directed and choreographed, and has served on the boards of the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria Committee and The Opera Studio Melbourne. In addition to productions in Melbourne, on his extensive travels, Simon reviews shows in Sydney and on annual trips to Broadway and the West End. He now blogs independently at simonparrismaninchair.com.
Sophie Garrod has loved the theatre since a very young age and always loved to write. Whilst studying journalism, media and cultural studies at Cardiff University, she set up her One Woman West End Show website. She also now works at a theatre, so has insights into how theatres operate and how shows are produced. She writes reviews, as well as opinion pieces that are light-hearted and those that tackle more serious issues such as disability and race in theatre.
Stephanie is a functioning theatre addict. Her friends might be more worried about her habit, if they didn't benefit from her ninja theatre booking skills. Not a reviewer in the traditional sense, she focuses on the things she's loved, the shows she's excited about, and her tips for finding great, affordable theatre in London. Notorious for her obsession with sitting as close to the stage as possible, it is not surprising that Stephanie's now also exploring if she has what it takes to write for the theatre.
Susan Elkin is a former teacher of secondary English. She has also been a very active and eclectic freelance journalist for more than 25 years. She now focuses on education, performing arts and books, and was education and training editor at The Stage newspaper 2015-2016. Susan is the author of over 40 books, mostly on education and performing arts topics, including So You Want to Work in Theatre (Nick Hern Books). In 2016, she launched her personal website susanelkin.co.uk.
The Family Stage is a blog following the lives of two musical mad mums who are attempting to sustain their theatregoing habit after adopting two little girls. Born out of Mummy’s indecision over whether to become a theatre blogger or mummy blogger, it attempts to straddle the boundary between the two worlds. But with family life revolving around extracurricular activities of the performing arts variety, and weekends filled with family theatre, Mummy finds that her musings remain distinctly stagey. When the munchkins are in bed, Mummy and Mrs Mummy take it in turns to go to grown-up shows, ensuring that they have something to talk about besides children.
Thom Dibdin has been reviewing and writing about theatre in Scotland since the last millennium. He is currently Scotland Correspondent for The Stage newspaper. In 2010, he founded AllEdinburghTheatre.com. The city's only dedicated theatre website, it covers all Edinburgh theatre year-round - and all theatre made in Edinburgh during EdFringe. Thom is passionate about quality in theatre criticism and is a member of the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. He tweets from @AllEdinTheatre and, personally, from @ThomDibdin.
For many years, Tim Masters was a BBC arts correspondent covering the UK theatre scene. In 2017 he changed jobs at the Beeb, but he still loves to escape to the theatre as often as he can. With London’s theatres just a Boris bike ride away, he thought he’d get back into writing about the plays, the actors, the creatives and the excitement of opening nights. The Man in the Grand Circle is a personal blog and not related to the BBC.
Tom Bolton is an author and researcher, based in London. He comes from Stratford-upon-Avon, where Derek Jacobi in The Tempest got him hooked on theatre. He sat on the Olivier Awards judging panel, and started reviewing for Londonist in 2010. He is particularly keen on disinterred classics, new writing and physical theatre, and spends a week at the Edinburgh Festival every year looking for more. Tom blogs independently at tombolton.co.uk and tweets @teabolton.
A former newspaper arts editor at Liverpool Daily Post, Vicky Anderson has been blogging about theatre in Liverpool since 2010. Her site, MADE UP: Onstage in Liverpool, "attempts to cram in as wide a variety of news, reviews and interviews on theatre happenings in Liverpool as possible".
Violet Mackintosh has experience as an assistant stage manager for the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) and as a production assistant at the Edinburgh Fringe. She pursues her interest in theatre through her blog: www.thevioletcurtain.com, also following global theatre, particularly in Germany. Violet lives in London and is a student at the University of Toronto.
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