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‘It’s very hard once you’ve got a line like that in your head’: Assessing the aftermath of a bad review

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

In a free-for-all age of journalism, the currency of individual theatre reviews matter a lot less than they used to; all a theatre PR wants is a spread of five-star reviews, and they’re easier to summon than ever if you don’t look too closely which publications they come from. The general public won’t notice the difference, so its a bluff that often works.

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NEWS: Critics’ Circle Awards sets date for 11 Feb, renames Best New Play in honour of Michael Billington

In Uncategorised by Press Releases

The next Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, celebrating the best of 2019’s theatre, will take place at 1pm on Tuesday 11 February 2020 at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre, hosted by Critics’ Circle Drama Section Chairman Henry Hitchings and produced by (MyTheatreMates’ own) Terri Paddock. The ceremony is one of the best-loved in the theatre awards calendar with its …

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Schiller thrillers: The Faction launches two-week SchillerFest at The Bunker, 31 October

In Features, Festivals, Interviews, London theatre, Native, News, Opera, Photos, Plays, Press Releases, Sticky, Video by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

The Faction celebrate the work of 18th-century German powerhouse Friedrich Schiller with a two-week SchillerFest, at the Bunker Theatre from 31 October to 11 November 2017, showcasing his greatest plays and a line-up including Dame Eileen Atkins, Ciaran Hinds, Celia Imrie and Guardian critic Michael Billington.

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Press pass: Reviews and everything else you need to know about Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man

In Features, London theatre, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

After nearly a week of staggered press performances, and one starry gala evening, the reviews are now out for the West End transfer for The Elephant Man, which is now running for a limited 12-week season until 8 August 2015 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Scott Ellis‘ production already comes trailing four Tony Awards nominations – […]

The past, present and future of theatre criticism

In Features, Opinion by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Mark has been taking part in a workshop as part of the Young Critics programme held at Winchester’s Theatre Royal. He gave the following speech to young critics on 4 April 2015.  


No one ever built a statue to a critic, it was once famously said, but in 2013 two critics received OBE’s in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. Michael Billington and Philip French, theatre and film critics for The Guardian and The Observer,were honoured after writing reviews in their particular disciplines for a 100 years between them. And in New York, there are not one but two Broadway theatres named after critics, Brooks Atkinson (pictured left) and Walter Kerr. We don’t yet have a Ken Tynan or even a Jack Tinker Theatre here, let alone a Billington.

And 2013 marked another centenary: that of the Critics’ Circle itself. So critics have been around for a long time, and are still having a demonstrable influence in setting the cultural agendas of the areas they cover. But will they be around much longer?

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