In his new role, Coveney will be submitting his insightful overnight reviews for West End and all other major London openings, which in the coming months will include blockbuster musicals Evita, Avenue Q, Wicked and Spamalot. He will also be contributing regular features to Theatregoer Magazine and will join the advisory panel for Whatsonstage.com’s annual audience-voted Theatregoers' Choice Awards.
Michael Coveney was born in London and educated at St Ignatius College and Worcester College, Oxford. He has written about theatre for over three decades, as editor of Plays and Players, and as staff drama critic on the Financial Times, the Observer and the Daily Mail. His books include a history of the Glasgow Citizens Theatre and critical biographies of Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Since leaving the Daily Mail in April 2004, Coveney has been a regular contributor to the Guardian, the Observer, the New Statesman, Prospect and BBC Radio’s Front Row.
Commenting on Coveney’s appointment, Terri Paddock, editorial director of Whatsonstage.com and Theatregoer, said: “After ten years, we have no intention of resting on our laurels. We want to continue to improve and expand our editorial coverage. Michael Coveney is a major part of this in our anniversary year. He is someone whose work we have always admired and respected. The fact that he is now bringing his wealth of experience and immense writing talent to Whatsonstage.com and Theatregoer is an immense thrill for us.”
Coveney added: "I'm delighted to be joining Terri Paddock and her team. Whatsonstage.com is clearly the most important and entertaining theatre website, and Theatregoer the best showbusiness magazine in London. I've long used both the website and the magazine as essential tools of information and reference. And after two years away from the first night reviewing fray, I am particularly excited about sharpening my pen once more for the challenge of the London theatre night by night... Whatsonstage.com will have the news, and the views - including mine - before everyone else."
Whatsonstage.com - named one of the top 100 websites in the world by Internet Magazine and the Daily Mail - is the only comprehensive UK theatre guide on the web, with a listings database of some 5,500-plus performances nationwide, as well as unrivalled theatre news, reviews, interviews, gossip, surveys, ticket offers, competitions and lively discussion boards. Recent additions to the website have included two new multimedia services, Whatsonstage.com Radio and Whatsonstage.com TV as well as a new picture gallery feature for 1st Night Photos.
Launched by Emap in 1996, Whatsonstage.com was acquired via a management buy-out in October 2000. More than 65,000 theatregoers subscribe to the site’s weekly email newsletter, while over 250,000 visit the website each month. Whatsonstage.com also runs the Theatregoers’ Club, born out of our ever-popular Outings through which we take hundreds of people at a time to top London shows, and the annual Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, now in their sixth year, the only major London theatre awards decided by the paying public. In 2005, the website merged with the print monthly Theatregoer Magazine, which is now available in more than 30 theatres and 250 London hotels.