Mates blogger: Mark Shenton


Mark Shenton is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Mark's posts on MyTheatreMates. Take a look at our full list of theatre bloggers and our aggregated feed of all our Mates' posts. We’re always looking for new theatre bloggers. Could that be you? Learn about how to join us.
Mark Shenton
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.
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The latest from Mark on MyTheatreMates

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‘Utterly joyous & joyful’: SOUTH PACIFIC – Chichester Festival Theatre

In Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

While it is sadly premature to say that the theatre is fully back from its enforced hibernation of the last 15 months that put paid entirely to last summer’s Chichester Festival Theatre season, it was a (socially distanced) delight to welcome back of my favourite regional theatres with the opening, at last, of its production of South Pacific originally planned for last year.

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‘Teenage angst in the bathroom… & classroom’: BE MORE CHILL – Shaftesbury Theatre / HEATHERS – Theatre Royal Haymarket

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

There comes a point in every lifelong theatre lover’s career when you suddenly wake up and wonder: am I simply too old for this? Ben Brantley, former chief critic of the New York Times, hit this particular critical nail on the head when he ended his review of the 2018 Off-Broadway summer run of the cult musical Be More Chill (before it was propelled to Broadway in turn) by advising: “It may be helpful to think of this bounding, exhaustingly enthusiastic puppy of a show as the theatrical equivalent of one of those high-pitched dog whistles that only those under 25 can hear.”

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‘Thrilling theatrical experience’: CONSTELLATIONS – Vaudeville Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Nick Payne’s infinitely fascinating and multi-faceted 2012 play about the endless possibilities of life (and facing death) is perfectly expressed in a revival of director Michael Longhurst’s original production that has now been cast in four different age, race and gender combinations that itself yields multiple meanings.

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So another delay to the ‘cautious, irreversible’ roadmap out of lockdown: It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

In what is becoming a wearyingly predictable cycle, Boris Johnson’s latest failure to act fast enough to lockdown the country from the arrival of what is now known as the Delta variant of Covid, which originated in India, has resulted in it becoming the dominant strain of the virus in Britain — with the added problem that it is much more easily transmissible than previous strains.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber is ready for battle over the June reopening but what about the nation’s health?

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

In a front page scoop in today’s Daily Telegraph, the paper lines up three heavy-hitting bylines — chief reporter Robert Mendick, political editor Ben Riley-Smith and theatre critic Dominic Cavendish — to reveal an exclusive with Andrew Lloyd Webber. The headline reads: ‘You’ll have to arrest us to stop reopening’.


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