From Cinderella to the Court: Mark Shenton reflects on another eventful week in the theatre calendar

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Lloyd Webber had previously threatened that if this was delayed, he’d defy the law and open his latest show Cinderella (featuring Carrie Hope Fletcher in the title role) at full capacity, not only risking but actively inviting arrest. Johnson said he was prepared to exempt Cinderella from the ongoing restrictions by making it part of a trial of large public events.

After a social media backlash, in which Lloyd Webber — who formerly took the Tory whip in the House of Lords and had once famously flown back from New York specially in order to vote against extending benefits to poorer people — was accused of not standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the theatre industry by getting special treatment for himself, the week ended with him issuing a statement that the show would go on, as planned, with previews beginning this Friday (25 June), but that it would be performed to socially-distanced audiences (and he would bear the resulting losses himself).

Meanwhile, theatre producer and director Adam Lenson also pointed out that, despite Lloyd Webber’s claim that Cinderella would be the first musical to premiere since the pandemic, he had himself produced one at the Vaudeville only a couple of weeks ago, Public Domain.

On Wednesday evening I went to the first preview of the return of Jasmine Lee-Jones’ play seven methods of killing kylie jenner, originally seen at the Royal Court Upstairs in 2019 and now back in the main house.

I went ‘incognito’ — buying my own ticket instead of requesting a press one, partly because there’s a clash on next Tuesday’s press night, but also it felt like an important play to see, and last but by no means least it felt good to support the Court financially and physically at this time.

But proving that we are never unobserved, the theatre’s terrific in-house press representative Anoushka Warden emailed earlier in the day to say: “Just spotted you’re in tonight’s first preview of seven methods…” I wonder if scanning the seating plans is part of the job (or maybe the box office recognised my name and tipped her off).

Clearly I can’t go anywhere incognito anymore: I also went to the cinema in the afternoon, and an actor/barman/usher working there also spotted and messaged me later instead of saying hello at the time, claiming not to have been sure it was me until I tweeted that I’d seen the particular film I’d seen — even though I was wearing both a ‘The Show Must Go On’ tee-shirt and wearing a ‘Freelancers Make Theatre Work’ facemask.

But then perhaps he was afraid of a personal interaction, after having taken me to task on Twitter a couple of weeks ago for something I’d written and accusingly messaged me then to say, “I think we think very differently on this issue. For me the moment something like this is uncovered or someone bravely comes forward to tell their story we believe them first.”

All of which is part of the zeitgeist of the Court’s play, a conversation between two women, friends since schooldays, about the public spaces we occupy, particularly on social media. And as it happens, there were not one but two features that addressed this on the same day I saw the play, too. Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie published a blog essay on the perils of social media, in which she passionately took ”certain young people” to task for

“a passionate performance of virtue that is well executed in the public space of Twitter but not in the intimate space of friendship…. .There are many social-media-savvy people who are choking on sanctimony and lacking in compassion, who can fluidly pontificate on Twitter about kindness but are unable to actually show kindness. People whose social media lives are case studies in emotional aridity. People for whom friendship, and its expectations of loyalty and compassion and support, no longer matter. People who claim to love literature – the messy stories of our humanity – but are also monomaniacally obsessed with whatever is the prevailing ideological orthodoxy”

Also on Wednesday, Ayesha Kazarika wrote a column in the Evening Standard about how the current online culture wars have become

“a fight to the death of who can scream and shame the loudest. And all it does is alienate people in the middle who want to find a solution which is humane, modern and common sense. But more moderate voices who could find the common ground here and find useful solutions are too scared to join in and who could blame them?”

I wrote here this time last week of myself being in the eye of my own social media storm last week; to be clear, I’m not the victim here, but I wrote a piece earlier in the week that caused a polarised reaction. I initially got a lot of private support for it, but then a different perspective was offered, publicly, by an actor who posted a video address to me personally challenging the column, and it created a public pile-on. It forced a re-think by me; I removed the column and apologised, within a few hours of the video being posted.

That should have been the end of it, but of course it wasn’t; still the self-righteous Twitter warriors persisted, lecturing and hectoring me to ‘educate myself’. As Adichie also wrote in her blog essay,

“People who ask you to ‘educate’ yourself while not having actually read any books themselves, while not being able to intelligently defend their own ideological positions, because by ‘educate,’ they actually mean ‘parrot what I say, flatten all nuance, wish away complexity’.”

Seeing seven methods of killing kylie jenner, which opens officially on Tuesday, could not have come at a more appropriate time for me. Theatre sometimes not only reflects life, it mirrors it.

MY COLUMNS OF THE WEEK

Sunday June 13

My column for today is here: http://shentonstage.com/that-was-the-week-that-was-5/

My weekly ‘That Was the Week That Was’ column, reviewing the week’s theatre news in columns, reviews and tweets, from London & regions to Broadway, is here: https://t.co/H4zqvz2WX8

Also with commentary on whether lockdown restrictions will be eased, and trial by social media. pic.twitter.com/I6YWny1I2s

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 13, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Monday June 14
My column for today is here: http://shentonstage.com/june-14-update-latest-scheduled-new-returning-shows/

My weekly update of returning and newly announced shows from London and the regions to Broadway is here, including the return of @springsteen on Broadway (from June 26) and @mockingbirdbway. https://t.co/KhfojvayC9 pic.twitter.com/t64VpYVV32

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 14, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Wednesday June 16

My column for today is here: http://shentonstage.com/june-16-welcome-to-theatrical-groundhog-day/

My column for ShentonStage is on how the routes in (and out) of lockdown are turning into a theatrical Groundhog Day, as the easing of restrictions is delayed again.

Outdoor venues, like @ETTtweet Trailer Story (pictured), may be one answer.https://t.co/MxXvwFV7EB pic.twitter.com/RzB6pvFzP1

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Saturday June 19
My column for today is here: http://shentonstage.com/shentens-my-top-ten-favourite-gay-themed-plays/

My fortnightly ShenTens podcast, with my Top Ten Favourite Gay Plays to mark LGBTQ+ month, is here: https://t.co/pMXLEWnbL5

And here’s my complementary feature on my personal website, detailing my choices from BENT to ANGELS IN AMERICA.https://t.co/bJlR0rAzCM pic.twitter.com/KL8mzkvbua

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 19, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

REVIEWS AND REVIEW TWEETS OF THE WEEK
I finally officially moved out of London last weekend and am now based in a country cottage in a village in West Sussex. This means that my theatregoing will be significantly reduced from 7-12 shows a week which used to be my norm (yes, really!) to a more manageable 3-5 in at least one overnight stay I plan to make every week, plus the occasional weekend matinee.

My first week here happily coincided with a lull in theatre openings, but I was in town to catch a couple of one-offs: a concert performance of Sunset Boulevard at Ally Pally (my first visit to this historic, gloriously reclaimed theatre) last Sunday (before I left London that evening), and last night’s concert by John Owen-Jones at Cadogan Hall, celebrating his recent 50th birthday. Tweets are below.

I was also in town last Wednesday for the day, and had bought myself a ticket for the first preview of seven methods of killing kylie jenner, as I can’t fit in this coming week’s press night on Tuesday. I’m relieved I am not formally reviewing it: in a review for Exeunt online, Emily Davis baldly stated, “An older person couldn’t write this play”, and then smugly proclaimed, “I really love that a lot of this script would be incomprehensible to an older person.”

Yeah, by all means trumpet your own sense of exclusivity; there’s a lot of theatre that is incomprehensible to younger people, or at least theatre that they will not fully understand the depths of until they are much, much older, like Sondheim and Goldman’s Follies, for instance, which is all about adult compromises and choices you make (and roads you don’t take) whose consequences you only realise in middle-age.

Her review is also partly written in GIFS, and she writes this:

“Even choosing GIFs for this review is practising a dialect, and that means I have to negotiate whether to use the GIFs which are referenced in the play, and reproduced in the playtext. I decide not to, because they’re all from black twitter and it feels like digital blackface to use them for my (white) own (critical) purposes.”

So writing about this play — even for a younger person — is a critical minefield. I’m glad I don’t have to negotiate it. But see above for part of the useful internal discussion it triggered me to have (which I first published in my daily subscription newsletter).

Sunset Boulevard (Alexandra Palace Theatre, Sunday June 13 only):

At @yourallypally — my first trip here — a beautiful gem of a theatre, a bit like @BAM_Brooklyn, to see SUNSET BOULEVARD — cast includes Mazz Murray @MazzWoman, @raminkarimloo, @ZiziStrallen, @JeremySecomb. pic.twitter.com/Bo2b52gaMh

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 13, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

John Owen-Jones at Cadogan Hall (Saturday June 19 only):

It’s not just because @johnowenjones opens with a Bond theme (“Thunderball”) or that he’s also Welsh that made me think of Shirley Bassey: he has a similarly towering theatrical presence and sheer vocal heft that shakes the theatre and stirs a visceral reaction. pic.twitter.com/UT2NVhY74w

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 19, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The second act of @johnowenjones was more pop gig than the first, but his exceptionally heartfelt rendition of @MrJasonRBrown’s “Someone to fall back on” was the highlight of the entire show for me! Worth it for that alone! pic.twitter.com/BPEta9Tul3

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 19, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I also caught a film — yes, at actual cinema — this week:

Five sublime actors — all of whom began their careers on the stage — give the shifting textures of THE FATHER raw and precise weight. The towering Anthony Hopkins is stunningly complemented by Olivia’s Colman/Williams as his daughter, @Markgatiss/ Rufus Sewell as his son-in-law. pic.twitter.com/R6owUlrrYS

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

LOCKDOWN (NOT ENDING QUITE YET) NEWS OF THE WEEK

.@SOLTnews & @uk_theatre are demanding an “irreversible” re-opening date of July 19 for theatres to open with no restrictions.

Perhaps it should speak to the virus instead of the government.

Mind you, @OfficialALW thinks that theatres are the one place the virus doesn’t go. https://t.co/bqmebTBY2a

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 14, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Let’s remember that each and every time it is @BorisJohnson and @MattHancock’s sheer incompetence that has kept us lockdown longer than any other nation. https://t.co/EFMtzzY0xq

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 14, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Seems that yet again @BorisJohnson and cronies are intent on looking after their friends & donors first.

As @AdamLenson says, https://t.co/saU0fmPY0q

Just open with social distance like everyone else. Stand shoulder to shoulder with them, not negotiating your own special terms https://t.co/Eqb4Pqe28o

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 14, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Can’t make this up. The Tories give OUR money to THEIR mates, and claim incorrectly that it has gone to good causes like @minacktheatre which didn’t get ANY. Also makes you think: @OliverDowden has NO IDEA where it goes to besides to support his own. https://t.co/0ksDOa1xyh

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 14, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

A question a lot of theatres will be asking @BorisJohnson and @OliverDowden today…. https://t.co/6XdXRB5ace

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 15, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Howard Panter & Rosemary Squire of @TrafalgarEnt: “This delay is yet another bungle from a government that wouldn’t be given a single star in a review of its performance. The confusion and muddled messages are reminiscent of a West End farce.”https://t.co/fS6MkJPpuT pic.twitter.com/lJqJMtqPnd

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 15, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“No, they won’t!” says Howard Panter of @TrafalgarEnt about whether July 19 is a guaranteed date for the lifting of all coronavirus restrictions; but “No, they can’t”, would have been a more realistic answer. https://t.co/JfJbAeaKBv

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 15, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Seems that something has pricked the conscience of the King (or Lord)…. https://t.co/m6etyjpqT9

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 15, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

LONDON HEADLINES OF THE WEEK

First look inside the reconstituted @TrafTheatre, formerly Trafalgar Studios, back to its Whitehall Theatre glory days; now owned and operated by @TrafalgarEnt. (Oh, and the seats look pretty comfortable, too…. Armrests are back!) pic.twitter.com/v0EYVGd74e

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 13, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The full company, crew and orchestra employed on @PrinceOfEgyptUK is a phenomenal 154 people. It resumes performances at @DominionTheatre July 1, with all performances to Sept 4 being staged to socially distanced protocols. Cast and press statement below right. pic.twitter.com/mXsv1mA2W3

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 15, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I *LOVED* Love Story so much that after getting married in NYC in 2013, we held a party at @JerwoodSpace on our return, and I asked @michaelxavierUK & Emma Williams @williamstweet to sing a couple of songs from it, & @Howard_Goodall accompanied them! What an honour and a treat!

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The return of WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION @witnessplayLDN at County Hall, originally scheduled for August 3, has been set back to September 14. https://t.co/DAl6nUdfPE

Press statement from producers below right. pic.twitter.com/RRUWxctKlz

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The West End’s new magic show, originally called WONDERMENT, has magicked up a name change and is now called WONDERVILLE. Press night is July 19 at the Palace Theatre — the new “freedom day” when theatres may be able to open at full capacity, so it will if it is able to. pic.twitter.com/VxuJ1v4Sr7

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 17, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The @MenChocFactory is also opening a new smaller studio space, The Mixing Room, which will present the world premiere of BRIAN & ROGER – A HIGHLY OFFENSIVE PLAY, written & performed by @harrypeacock17 and Dan Skinner, inspired by
podcast Brian & Roger, from Oct 22-Dec 18. pic.twitter.com/a8noPBDsc9

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 17, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Nearly missed this re: @MenChocFactory re-opening:

“Please note at this time the restaurant is unable to open due to circumstances beyond the company’s control.”

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 17, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Casting announced for @MammaMiaMusical at Novello Theatre from August 25: Mazz Murray @MazzWoman (Donna, pictured by Brinkhoff & Mögenburg), @rich_trinder (Sam), @neilmoors100 (Harry), Stephen Beckett (Bill), @EmmaMullen__ (Sophie), @JackDanson (Sky). FULL CAST below right. pic.twitter.com/GYjGkYDxER

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 18, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Rattigan’s THE BROWNING VERSION to be staged by @BranaghTheatre, starring and directed by Kenneth Branagh with cast entirely of @RADA_London graduates), at @RiversideLondon from Aug 5-29. Tickets (on sale June 21): https://t.co/DOIPHu9Myz pic.twitter.com/dvJmB7aIBO

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 18, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Cast announced for PIPPIN at @CharingCrossThr from June 30-Aug 14:

Ryan Anderson & @dankrikler to reprise title role/Charles they played at Garden Theatre last summer, joined by@IanCarlyle009, @AlexJamesHatton, @GabbyLD, @NatalieMcQueen_, @GNicoleUK,
Jaydon Vijn. pic.twitter.com/affdJkbYMM

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 18, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Cast announced for return of @JerseyBoysUK to @TrafTheatre from July 28, opens August 10: @AdamDavidBailey (Bob Gaudio), @BenMJoyce (Frankie Valli), @BenjaminYates1 (Tommy De Vito) & @KarlJWilson (Nick Massi); pic: @darren_bell (1/2) pic.twitter.com/DrGXjLrDtG

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 18, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

REGIONAL/ TOURING AND FESTIVAL HEADLINES OF THE WEEK

ENGLISH TOURING THEATRE @ETTtweet launches TRAILER STORY, a travelling outdoor performance space to tour across the UK presenting national and local artistic programming and community events beginning with a residency in Newcastle city centre July 30-Aug 1. Press statement below. pic.twitter.com/PQWbnUjWvg

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 14, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

RENT — due to run at @CurveLeicester from Aug 10-21 — has been postponed, per statement below. https://t.co/RAbyuMMoPf

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 17, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

BROADWAY/WEST END/TOURING HEADLINE OF THE WEEK

Also of interest re: return of @BookofMormon: #ScottRudin has been erased as producer and is not mentioned on the billing at all. pic.twitter.com/5WBu6xrXHl

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

MORE BROADWAY HEADLINES OF THE WEEK

Ominous news from Broadway: @Springsteen ON BROADWAY has announced that “audience members must be vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine”, That does NOT currently include AstraZeneca. Full story on @DEADLINE: https://t.co/T1iWqwtBt5 pic.twitter.com/Uduqv3N1Z5

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 17, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Update to @Springsteen #COVIDVaccination Rules: now any WHO approved vaccine will pass muster, nit just FDA ones. https://t.co/Ch04GTrjbP

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 20, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME @freestylelove, an improvised musical comedy show co-created by @Lin_Manuel Miranda (and occasionally featuring him as a guest performer) is returning to Broadway, running at Booth Theatre from Oct 7 to Jan 2. https://t.co/5EktnINmJJ

Press statement right pic.twitter.com/d2LA6Daj6R

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

“Good Morning Baltimore” from HAIRSPRAY, parodied to “No Lockdowns Anymore” with @JKCorden and @ArianaGrande on @latelateshow: https://t.co/sKjuVnNqlJ pic.twitter.com/DX2XNmh12Y

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 17, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

THEATRE BIRTHDAYS OF THE WEEK

THEATRE BIRTHDAYS (June 13): @KathyBurke, 57 (pictured); Sarah Connolly, singer, 58; Kym Marsh, @msm4rsh, 45; Malcolm McDowell, 78 pic.twitter.com/780Ftdwh1h

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 13, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Theatre Birthdays (JUNE 15): Jim Belushi, 67; Simon Callow, 72; Julie Hagerty, 66; Neil Patrick Harris @ActuallyNPH, 48 (pictured in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH on Broadway in 2004, for which he won a Tony Award); @HelenHunt, 58 (pic: in LIFE x3, on Broadway in 2003) pic.twitter.com/FNx33Mppxq

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 15, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Theatre birthdays (JUNE 16): Dame Eileen Atkins, 87; James Bolam, 86; @joemcelderry91, 30 (pictured in the title role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which he appeared in the tour of in 2017); Lindsey Marshal, 43; Laurie Metcalf, 66; Simon Williams, 75 pic.twitter.com/E09UHLVF5e

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Theatre Birthdays (JUNE 17): Phyllida Lloyd, director, 64 (original stage and film of Mamma MIa!, pictured at its current West End home, the Novello Theatre); Jodie Whittaker, actor, 39; @barrymanilow, 78 pic.twitter.com/GP1dfF8J9r

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 17, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Theatre Birthdays (JUNE 18):
Michael Blakemore, director, 93; Barbara Broccoli, theatre and film producer, 61; Derek Deane, former artistic director @ENBallet, 68; @_richardmadden, 35 (pictured with Lily James in Romeo and Juliet, Garrick Theatre, 2016) pic.twitter.com/4uPilp5OWw

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 18, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Theatre birthdays (JUNE 19): Sadie Frost, 56; Gena Rowlands, 91; Kathleen Turner, 67 (pictured: in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, Broadway, 1990); Sam West @exitthelemming, 55 (pic: in ARCADIA at @NationalTheatre in 1993) pic.twitter.com/OzWj55NSzY

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 19, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

AND FINALLY, SOME PERSONAL TWEETS OF THE WEEK

Sunday June 13

Bidding farewell to Borough SE1, my home for the last 15 years, with a visit to Terry’s, the best breakfast place I know in London. I first came here after viewing the flat I’m in for the first time. Now we letting it out to new tenants, & heading to our new home in West Sussex! pic.twitter.com/da8k9f2aqv

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 13, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I’ve changed partners a couple of times since — but I’ve been with my now-husband for 13 years (and married for the last eight; our anniversary is next month). We’ve also owned an apartment in New York since a few months before our wedding there. (2/5) pic.twitter.com/0FgM2lFl8p

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 13, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Monday June 14

Here’s the view my bears and I wake up to now….. pic.twitter.com/HAPvdZGHuk

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 14, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Tuesday June 15

At our local village store! (Which has got nearly 17 hanging baskets….) pic.twitter.com/81AeGimkAy

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 15, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Wednesday June 16

Heading to London for the first time from our little local station, with a direct train to Victoria that takes 85 minutes! And — because I booked it sufficiently in advance — cost me just £5 each way……! (Returning tonight is even quicker — departs 22.05, arrives 23.21) pic.twitter.com/nRiPTwGiE0

— Mark Shenton (@ShentonStage) June 16, 2021https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The post That Was the Week That Was…. (June 13-19) first appeared on Shenton Stage.

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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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Mark Shenton on FacebookMark Shenton on RssMark Shenton on Twitter
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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