This competition has now closed. The winner was announced in August 2015 .
What is The Stage Critic Search?
The Stage Critic Search 2015 – in association with TheatrePeople.com  – is a competition to find the nation’s best undiscovered critic.
It is part of our ongoing commitment to nationwide theatre reviews at a time when many UK publications are cutting back on their reviews coverage, particularly outside London.
How do I apply?
Write a 200-word review of a recent production (you must have seen it in April or May 2015), adhering to The Stage’s review guidelines . Then send it to…
… by noon on May 29, 2015. Please attach your document in one of the following formats: Word, Pages, Notepad or TextEdit.
You’ll also need to send us your name, postcode and the date of the performance you reviewed.
Who is eligible for Critic Search?
Anyone aged 18 or over can enter. There is no maximum age and no restriction on experience (although we would expect the competition to appeal to undiscovered writers).
All the applications will be anonymised, then sent on to a judging panel of industry experts, including performers, writers and leading theatre critics.
The judging panel aims to come up with a shortlist of up to 12 would-be critics, spread across different regions of the UK. We aim to announce this in mid-June.
The Stage Critic Search – Round 2
Everyone on the shortlist will be provided with a mentor to offer advice and training as they prepare for the next round.
Each shortlisted candidate will be invited to review a show at a theatre local to them, and their reviews will be published in The Stage newspaper and online. They will be paid our standard freelance review rate.
The Stage Critic Search – Round 3
Based on those reviews, the judges will then whittle down to a final shortlist of three, with each finalist being invited to review the same show and submit a 450-word review (again, these will be published in The Stage).
We aim to announce the finalists in early July.
The winner, as selected by our team of judges, will receive a cash prize of £1,000 and the opportunity to review regularly for The Stage.
We aim to announce the winner by the end of July.
Appendix I – Regions
- Northern Ireland
- North east
- North west
- Yorkshire and the Humber
- West Midlands
- East Midlands
- Greater London
- East of England
- South east
- South west
Appendix II – Judging panel
- Chair: Alistair Smith – editor, The Stage
- Mark Shenton – lead critic and associate editor, The Stage
- Natasha Tripney – lead critic, The Stage
- Cush Jumbo – actor and playwright
- Daniel Evans – artistic director, Sheffield Theatres
- Stephanie Street – actor and playwright
Appendix III – Mentors
- Lyn Gardner, the Guardian 
- Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard 
- Sarah Hemming, Financial Times 
- Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out 
- Andrew Haydon, Postcards from the Gods 
- Jake Orr, Dialogue 
- Maddy Costa, Dialogue 
- Clare Brennan, the Observer 
- Thom Dibdin, The Stage
- Roger Foss, The Stage
- Matt Trueman, Variety  and Whatsonstage