Best of This Week's Theatre Blogs - 29 Jan 2010
Date: 29 January 2010
It was theatre critics who were at the centre of the debate amongst Bloggers this week as Benedict Nightingale’s retirement as chief theatre critic at The Times led to a debate about theatre criticism in Britain.
Stephen Brook asserted that the appointment of Libby Purves meant that there was no longer a “closed shop” whilst Mark Shenton praised The Times' lack of ageism but questioned what this meant for younger critics. When Matt Trueman posed the question of a ‘closed shop’ on twitter the response was predictably spirited.
It was back to the subject of audience rather than critic for Aleks Sierz as sweet rustling, falling asleep and standing ovations came to the fore.
If we thought that amongst all of this debate there was no time for theatre to be made then John McGrath readjusted the balance. Waiting for a model box which was stuck on a motorway McGrath used the time to consider the move from first to second draft of A Good Night Out in the Valleys.
Guardian Media Blog, Stephen Brook – Times theatre critic Benedict Nightingale Retires
“With Tim Walker at the Sunday Telegraph, Henry Hitchings at the London Evening Standard and now Purves at the Times, it has been opened up to outsiders, which can only be a good thing.”
Shenton Stage – Critical lightning strikes at the Thunderer...
“But I do wonder, inevitably, once again of the fate of a younger generation of critic, who have been serving apprenticeships on The Times and elsewhere, that have nowhere to go.”
Matt Trueman – Twitter
“Still thinking about Libby Purves. a) What hope now for aspiring critics? b) What happens post-Billington? c) How does theatre matter now?”
Jakeyoh – Twitter
“they mean theatre criticism has being voiced on the internet. A form of opening up, but let's face it.. not in print aye?”
Pirate Dog – Caretaker
“To judge by the comments from people within earshot, most of the audience was not regular theatregoers, and there had evidently been brisk sales from the kiosk: the noise of sweets being unwrapped amused me as it contrasted so strongly with the spartan lives being portrayed on stage.”
National Theatre of Wales, John McGrath – Model Boxes and Motorways
“The new version cleans up the story and digs a little deeper into some of the memories and darker elements hiding beneath the often hilarious day to day encounters. Sometimes a second draft of a play can be the most difficult - in fixing issues, some of the spirit can get lost”.
- by Corinne Furness - Theatregoer Reporter